Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hot Fuzz/Kick Ass reviews

Hot Fuzz


With the release of The Other Guys about two neglected cops getting a chance of car chases and high ass kicking justice, Hot Fuzz is the British version of this. Well, possibly.

Directed by Edgar Wright who also directed Shaun Of The Dead and the seemingly enjoyable Scott Pilgrim vs. The World, Wright teams up with Simon Pegg the second time after Shaun Of The Dead. If you like Shaun Of The Dead, Simon Pegg, or basic cop movies, you'll like this film. But if you only seen Simon Pegg for the first or second time running, you would be confused with this movie

Pegg plays Nicholas Angel, a serious Spock-like speaking high ranked police officer from London. He's being moved to Sandford by the Metro because he has too much priority in which creates a bad image for the Metropolitan Police. Sandford is a countryside town where... the crime rate is so low, the police in the town are morons and Sandford is runned by the elderly in a group called the Neighbourhood Watch Alliance or NWA. Angel's teamed up with Danny Butterman (Nick Frost) the son of the Sandford police chief. So when a series of murders that are made into 'accidents' commited, Angel and Danny set to investigate.

I've only seen Simon Pegg in movies twice. One in How To Lose Friends And Alienate People where he gets jiggy with Megan Fox, the other was in Star Trek where he played Scotty. So I might be confused if this was a funny movie at all. But his performance as PC Angels is the heart of the movie and that's what makes that funny. Watching Pegg with Frost (who's a constant collaboration with the guy) makes both the odd couple and a bromance because Angels is a monotone person while Frost playing Danny is an oafish character.

More importantly each actor have something to do in this movie. The highlights of the cast includes Jim Broadbent who plays Constable Butterman, Timothy Dalton as the suspicious supermarket manager and Anne Reid as the town's florist.

Hot Fuzz is a pop culture sandwich. There are many references of famous cop movies such as Bad Boys II and Point Blank, references to Shaun Of The Dead and so far it's a mash up of the buddy cop, action comedy genres. That's the main point of hilarity where much of the dialogue and the action scenes get really clever and interesting.

Unfortunately Hot Fuzz is not perfect. It is so fast paced and although I don't mind movies speeding up its pace, you couldn't get to catch up into the main plot of the story. Plus there are so much loose editing that is so messed up. Even if the whole cast is great, some of them are not quite developed as i would wanted. So in this case, I find these characters immently boring. Also the soundtracks sometimes feel annoying.

Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright are like Ridley Scott and Russell Crowe together. The difference is that they're funny, love to mash some genres and have British accents plus its Abbott and Costello updated. In the end, Hot Fuzz is silly yet intelligently awesome!

Kick Ass


Another filmmaker here is Matthew Vaughn. He produced and directed some of Britain's crime movies such as Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Layer Cake and Snatch which is not for the kids. Also a movie directed, written and produced by him as well as kids-free is Kick Ass.

This picture on the left appeared in many news articles about the fact that Chloe Moretz who plays Hit Girl who swears in many levels, and killing people. Many conservatives such as family associations and film critics accused the film of glorifying violence responsible by children. Well I would tell these people to have their ass kicked. So far, I've seen it twice and it's good.

In this movie, Dave (Aaron Johnson) is a underrated high school student who is a comic book nerd as well. He'd wondered why there are no superheroes in real life and his buddies answered 'they'd be dead in a day'. So Dave experiments and dons a wetsuit and wrestling mask along with pipes as weapons to see if being a super works. However his friends were right as he is stabbed in the chest along with being hit by a car. But when he does it a second time, he later became an Internet phenomenon after warding off a gang from beating up a man. He finds out there are other supers as well and they are experts. A daddy-daughter duo Big Daddy (Nicholas Cage) and Hit Girl (Chloe Moretz) whose superpowers are automatic weapons and knifes. So when Frank D'Amico finds out, he hires his son Chris (Christopher Mintz Plasse) as another Super named Red Mist to chase after them and let him bash the supers up.

There were problems involving Kick-Ass. The fact that they were rejected by Hollywood studios for its tone and that it was made just a little profit at the box office. But Kick Ass is generally epic, thrilling, hilarious and clever that's almost a pleasure.

The problem with Kick Ass as a movie in financial terms is that it was niched for a teenage audience and  this was equal to Scott Pilgrim which was also niched and becomes a disaster. Now many references towards Generation Y and teens involves the internet such as Myspace in which Kick Ass use to set up a database and Youtube which made Kick Ass the Internet sensation. As much as this is a teen movie, you'll see much of its characters riddened with angst from situations somehow funny yet shocking.

A lot of dark humour is used, mostly violent and much of that is surprising and targeted towards drug dealers including a scene where Kick Ass kills many gangsters via jet pack and two machine guns which is immensely hilarious.

Aaron Johnson makes a lovely impact as the title character to this movie whether he's narrating in the movie which parallels the Tobey Macguire voice over in Spiderman or getting his ass kicked, he provides such joy. Nicholas Cage is great as Big Daddy and he can never be funnier. But the limelight should go to Chloe Moretz who is a revelation. Hit Girl reminds of Jodie Foster's character in Taxi Driver or Natalie Portman in The Professional where she swears and kills in the name of justice.

Imagine a movie where Tarantino violence and Coen brothers dialogue, a graphic novel, teenage films and black comedy comes together. If you can at least laugh at any scene, especially the violence, you will love it. 

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