A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this movie.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that what at first seems like a British parody of American cop flicks turns into a much bloodier (and funnier) homage to blow-'em-up blockbusters. The gun play and cartoonishly graphic violence rivals that of any Michael Bay or Jerry Bruckheimer production, but at least the bulk of the gore is confined to the last third of the film. Like Shaun of the Dead, which was made by the same director and stars, this movie is full of colorful foul language, but it doesn't have the raunchy nastiness of similar movies. Expect cinema-savvy teens to want to check it out.
What's the story?
The wickedly clever English minds behind "rom-zom-com" Shaun of the Dead are back with another half-spoof, half-homage to a classic Hollywood genre: the high-octane buddy cop flick. In HOT FUZZ, Sergeant Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg), a tightly wound London cop whose arrest record is 400 times higher than anyone else's is showing up his colleagues, so the department rewards him by assigning him to a sleepy country town called Sandford, where there are no recorded murders -- but the accidental deaths are astronomical. Sergeant Angel, who's all business, is annoyed with his new post and his new partner, Danny (Nick Frost). The blubbery, childlike son of the department's inspector (Jim Broadbent), Danny is obsessed with Hollywood action films and impressed with Angel's past as a city cop -- "Have you ever fired two guns whilst jumping through the air?" he demands to know (a hint to the audience of what's to come). Sandford, as it turns out, isn't as idyllic and crime-free as it looks. All those "accidents" are really murder most foul, but only Nick and Danny want to follow the leads to the truth, which culminates in an unrelentingly grisly -- but still funny -- climax that's full of every action cliché in the Hollywood playbook.
Is it any good?
Hot Fuzz is a worthy follow-up to Shaun of the Dead and cements Pegg, Frost, and director Edgar Wright as creative talents to watch. Real-life best mates (or "heterosexual life partners," as they call themselves) Simon Pegg and Nick Frost again prove that their on-screen chemistry is combustible -- and hilarious.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how this film parodies Hollywood blockbuster action flicks. What are some good and bad examples of that genre? What specific elements of those movies is this film making fun of? Does it succeed? Why? Is the violence appropriate to the story, or does it go too far? Is all of the gun violence upsetting? Families can also discuss how media helps people find common ground. Kids: Do you and your friends bond over movies the way Nick and Danny do?
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