The 101 Action Movies gave me a chance to settle in and enjoy (yet again) this hilarious action comedy from the same team who brought us the amazing Shaun of the Dead.
This time around Simon Pegg is playing Nicholas Angel, a London cop, who according to his supervisors, played by Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan and Bill Nighy, is making the rest of the force look bad. He’s just too good at his job. It’s impacted his almost non-existent personal life, costing him his girlfriend (Cate Blanchett) and frequently gets him hurt in the line of duty, the last incident being stabbed in the hand by a psychopathic Santa (Peter Jackson).
So, to give everyone a break, Angel has been reassigned, much against his will, to a small English village called Sanford. The town is inhabited with familiar faces for action fans, from Raiders of the Lost Ark’s Paul Freeman as the local priest, to former James Bond Timothy Dalton as a supermarket king, to the Equalizer himself Edward Woodward as one of the leaders of the local neighborhood watch…
Working the blue line alongside Angel is his new partner Danny (Nick Frost), an action movie junkie, his dad (Jim Broadbent), and Paddy Considine as Andy Wainwright.
Angel starts cleaning up the town immediately, making sure the bar isn’t serving minors, hunting down a lost swan, and trying to set a good example for his fellows and the village.
That is until a series of ‘accidents’ begin to take its toll on some of the residents. As the bodies begin to pile up, Angel begins to suspect that there is something more going on in the quiet little village… but he has no idea how high it actually goes!!
This film, the second of the Cornetto trilogy, walks the perfect balance between action and comedy, infusing an American style action story, with British humor, and like it’s predecessor, this one works brilliantly. So many quotable lines, as well as tons of homages, so many laugh out loud moments, and of course, some great action sequences.
The final act of the film which sees Angel riding into town on a horse sets everything up for the big showdown in a fantastic way, and lots of gunfire!
Pegg, Wright, Frost and those they choose to work with them, have become masters at balancing comedy with whatever genre they are mixing their films with, and while poking fun at the action genre, it also pays homage to it, and makes it their own as well.
Pegg is hilarious as the straight arrow Angel who slowly becomes to emulate the action heroes that Danny so idolizes until the two of them become action cops acting our shots and moments that nod, tongue in cheek, to the films that have gone before.
The beautiful thing about the Cornetto trilogy is that each one of them is brilliant in their own terms, and depending on what other genre you want to mix in, one of these films is bound to tickle your funny bone…
Which one is your fave? Shaun of the Dead? Hot Fuzz? World’s End?