Almost every day I think just how much I want to re-watch any number of movies and/or TV series. Then reality gets in the way and I realise just how re-watching something gets in the way of seeing something new. So instead I spend hours durdling around on the internet that greatly outnumber the time I’d spend re-watching in the first place. Time management is an enormously valuable skill. Never let anyone tell you otherwise. However, using the excuse that my girlfriend hadn’t seen it (and in celebration of its tenth birthday) I re-watched Hot Fuzz.
I don’t know how I forgot what a terrific director Edgar Wright was. I recall the release of The World’s End. I’d assumed that 2011’s Paul was the third and final in the “Cornetto Trilogy” (not realising it was instead directed by Greg Mottola). It’d be generous to call the film mediocre. While I had near endless goodwill for Simon Pegg post Spaced, his mainstream exposure and subsequent habit of picking less than amazing projects was a bummer. I went into World’s End expecting very little and came away remembering just why I’d loved Spaced so much. Having Simon Pegg and Nick Frost reunited with Edgar Wright made for a joyous romp into an absurdist premise directed with absolute precision. Everything seemed so deliberate and well composed. It was a reaffirming experience.
Watching Hot Fuzz again brought back similar feelings. The way mundane activities were cut together with fast cuts and action film conventions (including a gratuitous use of quick, punchy sfx for banal actions like opening the paper). The evolution of both Simon Pegg and Nic Frost’s characters learning and growing from one another. The rapid paced dialogue and witticisms, double entendres and referential humour. The vibrant personality and quirks given to each and every character. The second half of the film as a cheeky inverse mirroring of the first. The gratuitous plot hooks sprinkled throughout the film, red herrings and feints, all leading to the eventual ludicrous reveal. The utter respect for genre style. Much like Get Out, a comedy that respects itself enough to present its absurd subject matter with total solemnity. A third act that kicks everything into high gear without crumbling to a total mess. Also Crusty Jugglers. All of this coming together for the greater good.
It’s insane how well constructed this film is, and a testament to a director that takes their craft seriously. Look at his IMDB page and how few movies he’s directed in the past decade. Perhaps one every three or four years, give or take. That’s the portfolio of someone who picks their projects carefully and deliberately. If you have any doubt about how much he cares about film, check out this list he and a friend composed of their top 1000 films of the past century.
I wonder if Edgar ever gets time to re-watch things.