Shaun of the Dead collaborators Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg have built their buddy-cop homage-parody on the foundations of others -- nearly 200, by their estimation, ranging from The Wicker Man to Point Break. Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, the best cop on the London police force banished to the idyllic setting of Sandford. Things, of course, aren't what they seem, and the movie crawls toward a combustible finale that references damned near every cop movie Wright's ever seen; indeed, it often feels like Hot Fuzz exists solely to rehash a pivotal scene from Point Break, in which Keanu Reeves fires his gun into the air in a fit of impotent rage. That scene in particular is a favorite of Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), the town drunk and police officer with whom Nicholas is partnered. Ultimately, Hot Fuzz is a kind of love story between these two guys -- appropriate, as the film is obviously inspired by Lethal Weapon. But Hot Fuzz transcends its influences. It's not tethered to its roots, not constrained by its tributes to lesser things. (That was always the problem with Airplane!, which doesn't hold up as well as you think it does.) It thrives as its own entity, a British variation on Hollywood nonsense.
Director: Edgar Wright
Writer: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Producer: Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Nira Park
Cast: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Steve Coogan, Timothy Dalton, Paul Freeman, Anne Reid, Billie Whitelaw and Stuart Wilson