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Hot Fuzz

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Not to be confused with the Killers album Hot Fuss.
Hot Fuzz
Film poster of two men dressed as British police officers. The man on the left is looking down and is holding a shotgun and a handgun. The man on the right is behind the man on the left with a shotgun and toothpick in his mouth and a explosion behind them. Poster has the films title and the main stars names.
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Edgar Wright
Produced by
Written by
Music by David Arnold
Cinematography Jess Hall
Edited by Chris Dickens
Distributed by
Release dates
  • 14 February 2007 (2007-02-14) (United Kingdom)
  • 20 April 2007 (2007-04-20) (United States)
  • 18 July 2007 (2007-07-18) (France)
Running time
121 minutes[1]
  • United Kingdom[2]
  • United States[2]
  • France[2]
Language English
Budget $12 million[3]
Box office $80.7 million[4]

Hot Fuzz is a 2007 British action comedy parody film directed by Edgar Wright, written by Wright and Simon Pegg, and starring Pegg and Nick Frost. The three and the film's producer Nira Park had previously worked together on the television series Spaced and the 2004 film Shaun of the Dead.[5] The film follows two police officers attempting to solve a series of mysterious deaths in an English village.

Over a hundred action films were used as inspiration for developing the script. Filming took place over eleven weeks in early 2006, and featured an extensive cast along with various uncredited cameos. Visual effects were developed by ten artists to expand on or add explosions, gore, and gunfire scenes.

Debuting on 14 February 2007 in the United Kingdom and 20 April in the United States, Hot Fuzz received wide acclaim with a 91% approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 81/100 from Metacritic. The total international box office gross reached £54,192,746 before its home media release. Shortly after the film's release, two different soundtracks were released in the UK and US.

The film is the second in Wright and Pegg's Three Flavours Cornetto trilogy and was preceded by 2004's Shaun of the Dead and followed by 2013's The World's End, each of them featuring a different flavour of Cornetto ice cream.[6]


Police Constable Nicholas Angel, a high-achieving member of the Metropolitan Police Service, is promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the quiet village of Sandford, Gloucestershire,[7] for making his colleagues look bad by comparison. Arriving in Sandford, Angel finds the town is generally devoid of any crime, its local Neighbourhood Watch Alliance (NWA) helping to keep the peace as they prepare to win the upcoming "Village of the Year" award. Angel only finds minor instances of disorderly conduct to police, including confiscating a shed full of unlicensed firearms (along with a naval mine), pursuing an escaped swan, and arresting a drunk driver who turns out to be his new partner PC Danny Butterman, the son of the town's chief Inspector Frank Butterman.

Despite the peaceful setting, the town is struck by a series of deaths which Angel believes are staged murders. Amateur actors Martin Blower and Eve Draper are killed in a traffic accident which Angel believes was staged; businessman George Merchant is killed in a gas explosion, and Sandford Citizen reporter Tim Messenger is killed by a fallen church spire minutes before Angel was posed to meet with him to obtain information on the previous deaths. Angel is able convince Danny the deaths were done by a serial killer, and two investigate in earnest, while bonding over Danny's love of action and buddy cop films.

While investigating, Angel talks to florist Leslie Tiller, who is closing her business due to a property deal. Angel sees the property deal as a common link to the other victims, but while he gets a notebook from his car, Leslie is killed by a hooded assailant. Angel gives chase, following the person to the local supermarket before losing track of him. He accuses the supermarket manager and NWA member Simon Skinner of the murders, as the property deal would have financially ruined him. Skinner does not deny his connection to the property deal, but provides an alibi to prove he did not kill Tiller. While reconsidering his theory, Angel overhears the word "killers" and comes to believe that a group of people are responsible for the deaths. Inspector Butterman denies this possibility and suggests Angel is having a nervous breakdown and should return to his home and sleep on his new theory. While resting, Angel is attacked by a cloaked figure, who is revealed during the fight as supermarket employee Michael Armstrong. Angel knocks Michael out, but not before learning that Skinner is at the village castle.

At the castle, Angel finds that the Sandford NWA is a secret society lead by Inspector Butterman and Skinner, committing murders to remove residents that would potentially cause them to lose the title of "Village of the Year"; their practice was done in the name of Inspector Butterman's wife Irene, who committed suicide after her efforts to win the first contest were ruined by a group of travellers. Angel is discovered snooping, and is chased into a crypt where he finds the bodies of many more "problem" people that NWA had disposed of, including his predecessor in the police force. As he climbs out, Danny appears and stabs him as the other NWA close in, and Angel blacks out. He awakens in Danny's car, who reveals he only faked his murder for his safety. Danny leaves Angel at the edge of the village and begs him to stay away. As Angel begins to return to London, he stops at a convenience store for food, but upon seeing some of Danny's favorite films on a display rack, he decides to return to Sandford to help Danny.

Grabbing the previously confiscated weapons, he meets with Danny. The two engage in a firefight with the NWA in Sandford's town center, and are eventually joined by the other members of the police force who Danny has convinced to help. They besiege Skinner's supermarket, forcing Skinner to flee. Angel and Danny follow in a car chase, and, after collecting the escaped swan en route, force him into the village's model town. Angel fights Skinner, during which Skinner slips and impales his jaw on the model spire. Inspector Butterman tries to escape in Angel's car, but the recaptured swan causes him to crash into a tree. The NWA members are rounded up and arrested.

Angel declines a request to return to his job on the London force to remain in Sandford. As he and the other police officers finish paperwork related to the NWA case, the last NWA member, Tom Weaver, barges into the station with a blunderbuss in an attempt to kill Angel. Danny distracts Tom long enough for Angel to kick a bucket at Tom, knocking him into the confiscated sea mine and setting it off. Angel and the others escape the station narrowly before it is destroyed in the explosion. One year later, Angel and Danny are now in charge of the Sandford Police as Inspector and Sergeant, respectively.


Sandford Police Service[edit]

Neighbourhood Watch Alliance and Associates[edit]

Sandford residents[edit]


While writing the script, the film's director and writer, Edgar Wright, as well as Pegg, intended to include Frost as the partner for Pegg's character. Frost revealed that he would do the film only if he could name his character, and he chose "Danny Butterman".[8]



Wright wanted to write and direct a cop film because "there isn't really any tradition of cop films in the UK... We felt that every other country in the world had its own tradition of great cop action films and we had none."[9] Wright and Pegg spent eighteen months writing the script.[10] The first draft took eight months to develop, and after watching 138 cop-related films for dialogue and plot ideas and conducting over fifty interviews with police officers for research, the script was completed after another nine months.[10][11] The title was based on the various two-word titles of action films in the 1980s and 1990s.[12] In one interview Wright declared that he "wanted to make a title that really had very little Lethal Weapon and Point Break and Executive Decision." In the same interview, Pegg joked that many action films' titles "seem to be generated from two hats filled with adjectives and nouns and you just, 'Okay, that'll do.'"[12]

Preparation and filming[edit]

A man in a purple jumpsuit is at the right of the image walking down a street. On the left is a man dressed as a police officer following him. At the far right is a man seated on the back of a golf cart filming them. Storefronts can be seen in the background.
Simon Pegg filming in Wells, Somerset

During the latter half of 2005, Working Title approached several towns in South West England looking for an appropriate filming location. Pegg commented, "We're both [Pegg and Wright] from the West Country so it just seemed like it was the perfect and logical thing to drag those kind of ideas and those genres and those clichés back to our beginnings to where we grew up, so you could see high-octane balls-to-the-wall action in Frome".[13] Stow-on-the-Wold was considered amongst others, but after being turned away, the company settled upon Wells in Somerset, Wright's hometown,[14] of which he has said "I love it but I also want to trash it".[15] Wells Cathedral was digitally painted out of every shot of the cathedral city, as Wright wanted the Church of St. Cuthbert to be the centre building for the fictional town of Sandford;[16] however, the Bishop's Palace is identifiable in some shots (and was itself used as the setting for some scenes).[17] While shooting scenes in their uniforms, Pegg and Frost were often mistaken for genuine police officers and asked for directions by passers-by.[18] Filming also took place at the Hendon Police College, including the driving school skid pan and athletic track.[19] Filming commenced on 19 March 2006 and lasted for eleven weeks.[20][21] After editing, Wright ended up cutting half an hour of footage from the film.[22]


Wright has said that Hot Fuzz takes elements from his final amateur film, Dead Right, which he described as both "Lethal Weapon set in Somerset" and "a Dirty Harry film in Somerset".[15] He uses some of the same locations in both films, including the Somerfield supermarket, where he used to work as a shelf-stacker.[15] In the scene in the Somerfield store, when Angel is confronting a chav for shoplifting, a DVD copy of Shaun of the Dead can be seen for a few frames. The title is Zombies' Party, the Spanish and Portuguese title for the film.

Further homages to Shaun of the Dead are also present in the film. In one scene, Nicholas wants to chase a shoplifter by jumping over garden fences; however, Danny is reluctant. Nicholas says, "What's the matter, Danny? You never taken a shortcut before?" He smiles arrogantly before jumping over three in a row (according to the DVD commentary, Pegg vaulted over three fences, and a stunt man did a back flip over the fourth). When Danny attempts it, he trips and falls through the fence. This is almost identical to a scene in Shaun of the Dead, including the fall-through-fence gag (in Shaun of the Dead, however, it happens to Pegg's character rather than Frost's, and he falls over the fence rather than through it). The DVD commentary says that Frost purposely looked back at the camera after crashing through the fence, to show that he had done the stunt rather than someone else.

Frost's characters (Danny in Hot Fuzz, Ed in Shaun of the Dead) have a liking for Cornettos.[23] Pegg and Wright have referred to Hot Fuzz as being the second film in "Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy" with Shaun of the Dead as the first and The World's End as the third.[24][25]

Various scenes in Hot Fuzz feature a variety of action film DVDs such as Supercop and scenes from Point Break and Bad Boys II. Wright revealed that he had to get permission from every actor in each video clip, including stunt men, to use the clips and for the use of the DVD covers had to pay for the rights from the respective studios.[26] The film parodies clichés used in other action movies. On the topic of perceived gun fetishes in these movies, Pegg has said, "Men can't do that thing, which is the greatest achievement of humankind, which is to make another human, so we make metal versions of our own penises and fire more bits of metal out of the end into people's heads... It's our turn to grab the gun by the hilt and fire it into your face."[13] Despite this, Pegg maintains that the film is not a spoof, in that "They lack the sneer that a lot of parodies have that look down on their source material. Because we're looking up to it."[27] The film also includes various references to The Wicker Man, in which Edward Woodward had played a policeman tough on law and order.[28]


To illustrate the destruction of the mansion as a result of the gas explosion, gas mortars were placed in front of the building to create large-scale fireballs. The wave of fire engulfs the camera, and to achieve that effect, gas mortars were used again but were fired upwards into a black ceiling piece that sloped up towards the camera.[29] When the sequence was shot at a high speed, the flames appeared to surge across the ground. For one of the final scenes of the film, the Sandford police station is destroyed by an explosion. Part of the explosion was created by using a set model that showed its windows being blown out, while the building remained intact. The actual destruction of the building was depicted by exploding a miniature model of the station.[16]

Similar to the work in Shaun of the Dead, blood and gore was prevalent throughout the film. Visual effects supervisor Richard Briscoe revealed the rationale for using the large amounts of blood: "In many ways, the more extreme you make it, the more people know it is stylised and enjoy the humour inherent in how ridiculous it is. It's rather like the (eventually) limbless Black Knight in Monty Python's Holy Grail."[29] The most time-consuming gore sequence involved a character's head being crushed by a section of a church. A dummy was used against a green screen and the head was detonated at the point when the object was about to impact the body. Throughout the film, over seventy gunfight shots were digitally augmented; Briscoe's rationale for adding the additional effects was that "The town square shootout, for example, is full of extra little hits scattered throughout, so that it feels like our hero characters really do have it all going off, all around them. It was a great demonstration of [how] seemingly very trivial enhancements can make a difference when combined across a sequence."[29]


The first two teaser trailers were released on 16 October 2006. Wright, Pegg, and Frost maintained several video blogs, which were released at various times throughout the production of the film.[30] Wright and Frost held a panel at the 2006 Comic-Con convention in San Diego, California to promote Hot Fuzz, which included preliminary footage and a question and answer session.[31] The two returned to the convention again in 2007 to promote the US DVD release.[32] Advance screenings of the film took place on 14 February 2007 in the UK and the world premiere was on 16 February 2007. The premiere included escorts from motorcycle police officers and the use of blue carpet instead of the traditional red carpet.[33]


Critical reception[edit]

The film received critical acclaim, and was rated as highly as Shaun of the Dead.[34] The review aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes reported a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 7.7/10 based on 198 reviews. The website's consensus reads, "The brilliant minds behind Shaun of the Dead successfully take a shot at the buddy cop genre with Hot Fuzz. The result is a bitingly satiric and hugely entertaining parody."[35] It also has a Metacritic score of 81/100.[36] Olly Richards of Empire said of Simon Pegg and Nick Frost: "After almost a decade together they’re clearly so comfortable in each other’s presence that they feel no need to fight for the punchline, making them terrific company for two hours".[37] Johnny Vaughan of The Sun already called it the "most arresting Brit-com of 2007".[38] Phillip French of The Observer, who did not care for Shaun of the Dead, warmed to the comedy team in this film.[39] The film also received positive reviews stateside. Derek Elley of Variety praised Broadbent and Dalton as "especially good as Angel's hail-fellow-well-met superior and oily No. 1 suspect".[40] As an homage to the genre, the film was well received by screenwriter Shane Black.[22] On, it got their 2nd-highest rating of 'Full Price!!'.

The Daily Mirror gave Hot Fuzz only 2/5, stating that "many of the jokes miss their target" as the film becomes more action-based.[41] Daily Mail also shared The Mirror's view, saying, "It's the lack of any serious intent that means too much of it is desperately unamusing, and unamusingly desperate".[42] Anthony Quinn of The Independent said, "The same impish spirit [as in Spaced] is uncorked here, but it has been fatally indulged".[43]

Box office[edit]

The film generated £7.1 million in its first weekend of release in the United Kingdom on 14 February 2007.[44] In the 20 April US opening weekend, the film grossed $5.8 million from only 825 cinemas, making it the highest per-cinema average of any film in the top ten that week.[4] Its opening weekend take beat the $3.3 million opening weekend gross of Pegg and Wright's previous film, Shaun of the Dead. In its second weekend of release, Rogue Pictures expanded the film's cinema count from 825 to 1,272 and it grossed $4.9 million, representing a 17% dip in the gross.[45] Altogether, Hot Fuzz grossed $80,573,774 worldwide.[4] In nine weeks, the film earned nearly twice what Shaun of the Dead made in the US, and more than three times its gross in other countries.[46]

Home media[edit]

The DVD was released on 11 June 2007 in the UK. Over one million DVDs were sold in the UK in the first four weeks of its release.[47] The two-disc set contains the feature film with commentaries, outtakes, storyboards, deleted scenes, a making-of documentary, video blogs, featurettes, galleries, and some hidden easter eggs. The DVD also features Wright's last amateur film, Dead Right, which he described as "Hot Fuzz without the budget". Due to the above release date, the film arrived on region 2 DVD earlier than the theatrical release date in Germany on 14 June 2007.[48] In the commentary with director Wright and fellow filmmaker Quentin Tarantino, they discuss nearly 200 films.[49]

The US DVD and HD DVD release was on 31 July 2007. It opened at #2 at the American DVD sales chart, selling 853,000 units for over $14m in revenue. As per the latest figures,1,923,000 units have been sold, acquiring revenue of $33.3 million.[50] The HD DVD edition has more special features than the standard DVD release. A three-disc collector's edition was released on 27 November 2007 and a Blu-ray edition on 22 September 2009.[51]


Main article: Hot Fuzz (soundtrack)

The soundtrack album, Hot Fuzz: Music from the Motion Picture, was released on 19 February 2007 in the United Kingdom, and on 17 April 2007 in the United States and Canada. The UK release contains 22 tracks, and the North American release has 14. The film's score is by British composer David Arnold, who scored the James Bond film series from 1997 to 2008. The soundtrack album's "Hot Fuzz Suite" is a compilation of excerpts from Arnold's score.[52] According to the DVD commentary, the scenes where Nicholas Angel is at a convenience store, while leaving Sandford, and his return to the police station while arming for the final shootout (found in the track "Avenging Angel"), were scored by Robert Rodríguez, who did not see the rest of the film while writing the music.

Other music from the film is a mix of 1960s and 1970s British rock (The Kinks, T.Rex, The Move, The Sweet, The Troggs, Arthur Brown, Cloud 69, Cozy Powell, Dire Straits), new wave (Adam Ant, XTC) and a Glaswegian indie band (The Fratellis).[52][53] The soundtrack album features dialogue extracts by Pegg, Frost, and other cast members, mostly embedded in the music tracks.[54] The song selection also includes some police-themed titles, including Supergrass' "Caught by the Fuzz" as well as "Here Come the Fuzz", which was specially composed for the film by Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion.[16][52]


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  53. ^ "Soundtrack details: Hot Fuzz". Soundtrack Collector. Retrieved 23 March 2009. 
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External links[edit]