Movies: Ansen on 'Hot Fuzz'

“Hot Fuzz,” directed by Edgar Wright, does for the cop action movie what “Shaun of the Dead” did for the zombie flick. It’s a bigger, faster cut-and funnier-movie than its predecessor, but that’s as it should be in a film that’s sending up the overamped conventions of a Jerry Bruckheimer/Joel Silver-style big-budget action movie, transformed into quaint English idioms. The supercop hero, Nick Angel, played by co-writer Simon Pegg, is a grim and zealous London bobbie whose arrest rate is 400 times that of his nearest competitor, which tends to make the other fellows look bad. So, to get him out of the way, he is “promoted” to a faraway job in sleepy, seemingly crime-free Sandford, where his by-the-book approach to the law does not play well with the astonishingly lenient local cops. Before this very clever comedy is over, however, machines guns will be blasting, the death rate will soar, and Nick and his galumphing sidekick, Danny (Nick Frost), will find their lives imitating the hi-octane Hollywood fantasies like "Point Break" that Danny is addicted to on DVD.

Though the movie is perhaps 15 minutes too long for its own good, it wouldn't be easy to cut: every joke discreetly planted early pays off later in the movie. The inventiveness of the script and Wright's well-judged comic timing makes the lazy, hit-or-miss "Blades of Glory" look sloppy indeed. From big roles to bit parts, "Hot Fuzz" is stocked with such formidable British firepower as Timothy Dalton, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Paddy Considine and Jim Broadbent, each capable of wresting chuckles where no one else could find them. Summer hasn’t arrived, but the funniest riff on a summer movie genre has already landed.