Hot Fuzz, Edgar Wright’s follow-up to his extremely popular zombie satire Shaun of the Dead (2004), improves on the latter’s strong points in every conceivable way while drastically tightening up its weakest elements. I found Shaun of the Dead‘s sharpness and bite (no pun intended) to taper off significantly in its second half: even at just 99 minutes, it felt too stretched out for its premise. By comparison, Hot Fuzz, an extremely witty spoof on both cops and the skeletons lurking in small town’s closets, doesn’t run out of gas despite being about 20 minutes longer, save for a few draggy moments near the end. It’s frequently very funny, with Simon Pegg playing droll, laser-focused London-police-star-turned-tiny-village-enforcer to perfection, but also has a lot to say about the falsities that abound in the famed “small town values” that preach holier-than-thou goodness while secretly harboring all sorts of resentments and, most importantly, hypocrisies. Jim Broadbent leads a strong supporting cast as the seemingly-chaste Inspector Frank Butterman. It’s also enjoyable to see Hot Fuzz poke fun at the internal strife and jealousies that can push the most successful employees out of the way. Overall, an excellent genre entry, much better than I’d expected. I’d put it a smidge above Wright’s recent Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, though I might take that one on a desert island after second viewings of both.

70/100