Why Simon Van Der Spoel adores… HOT FUZZ

9 Apr

WELCOME BACK to WHY I ADORE!!!

After a lengthy hiatus, we’re back to share the film and television loves of people far and wide, to bring some pop culture positivity back to the internet! And, also… it’s our birthday.

Yesterday was the FIRST ANNIVERSARY of when we launched the site! In the year WHY I ADORE has been running, we’ve had contributors from Australia and England – actors, writers, film critics, filmmakers, a TV host, a literary editor and a film distribution exec have all contributed. Fourteen fond, funny and fabulous Valentines to cinema, TV, actors, filmmakers and shots. And, now…

We want MORE.

To bring an end to all the crazy long layoffs, WHY I ADORE will now be posted in six-part “seasons”. This means we’ll at least get a month and a half of consistent weekly articles, and gives the site a structure it has previously lacked. So, if you’re interested in shouting your love of something, anything, about film and TV from the interwebby rooftops, please write it up (no longer than 1500 words, please) and email it to whyiadore@gmail.com – you can even suggest any pictures and clips you’d like to see added. (See the About page for more info.)

One year and one day ago, we started this site to combat the culture of complete negativity and quick-draw snark that rules the internet, and create a small but defiant corner of the web devoted to why we’re all interested in the audiovisual medium of film in the first place: Love. We all fell at some point. And you know what? We all will again.

So now, sit back in our comfy couch, pour yourself a tall glass of your favourite beverage and enjoy the musings of our next adorer…

SIMON VAN DER SPOEL is a Queensland filmmaker who has been working around the traps of TV newsrooms as a cameraman and as an independent filmmaker for nearly a decade. His first film, the WWII aircraft documentary SPITFIRE GUARDIANS, was screened on Foxtel’s History Channel, and he’s currently writing and developing the independent SAS action feature REDEEMED. You can find out more about Simon’s career at his blog, right here. So, what does an action film loving director like Simon adore… well, if you run out and get him a Cornetto, he might tell you…

 

I had to think long and hard about what to write about for the esteemed Why I Adore forum, and though such things as The Mysterious Cities of Gold and The Princess Bride or Hercules Returns spring from my childhood, a film that I absolutely adore today is Edgar Wright’s Hot Fuzz, with Simon Pegg and Nick Frost.

From the opening titles with the screaming Bobbie police whistle, it rises in crescendo and cycles through the eras of police sirens to the modern Bill car siren and grabs your attention. No: it screams for your attention. In real life, everyone looks up when a cop car whizzes past full lights and sirens, right? (Trust me: they do where I work!)

But why this film? Because I can watch it a million times over and not be bored with it, I still laugh at the jokes and I adore screening it to unsuspecting friends who haven’t seen it, with giddy delight.

I feed from their reaction. In fact if anyone utters “I’ve never seen Hot Fuzz” I respond in a Nick Frost accent “you aint never seen ‘Ott Fuzz” like he does in his reference to Bad Boys II, and open my DVD collection to pull out the tin case in all its special edition glory. In fact, I’ve collected a group of friends and family that respond to anyone saying ‘Fer the greater good’ in complete unison (No, that’s a lie… I just wish I did).

The introduction of Simon Pegg’s character Nicholas Angel is delivered in fast paced cuts, flash frames, snap zooms, a superimposed mix of speed-ramped energy to make an editor cry, all with the narrator listing his bevy of skills, showing the man is a policing god who sees the world in right and wrong, black and white (His name is Angel, and his police number is 777).

Pegg is masterful in his deadpan delivery whilst surrounded by comedic insanity; it just sets up the tone for the film, a testament to the comedic strength of the script, characters, direction and camera work. It sucks me in every time, and the parade of cameos like Martin Freeman, Steve Coogan, and Bill Nighy in the beginning are heralding the coming feast of talent further on.

There is a massive number of characters in the film, played by numerous cameos; Hell, I even saw Cate Blanchett in there, perhaps because I’m Aussie and can recognise her voice and her eyes (because that’s all you get to pick her by, and yes, I fell in love with them as much as Peter Jackson did in LOTR). The Head of the NWA is Edward Woodward, who played Breaker Morant, and they’ve got one of my favourite 007’s, Timothy Dalton! (He even said that he had more fun filming Hot Fuzz than 007!)

If you’ve ever grown up in a small town, the performances you inherently recognise and identify within your own community members, so that you can’t mix them up, all bound by Simon Pegg’s straight-laced character. If at any point they made him as silly as the people surrounding him, the film would fall apart, but as the hero, he is the one you back, the one you want to win, you actually care about him. (Script writing 101!) But the script is magic, it’s so quick, the jokes fast, subtle, dryly ironic and scathing, back and forth like a fencer.

A masterful script, one which does very well at gaining sympathy for the hero by relegating this talented cop to the country. The lightning speed of his journey into exile is just genius, the lowering bars of reception on his phone as he goes further and further into obscurity is priceless. As I’ve got family out west, I’ve experienced modern life trickling away as the bars fade!

As I’ve said, the way it’s been cut, it’s a camera operator/editor’s wet dream of technical skill, snap zooms, flash frames, whip pans, forced perspective and just an orgasm of guns, colour, speed and comedy.  It’s precisely why I adore it, the sharp script, the “in” jokes (there’s even a nod to Croc Dundee’s way of catching crims) – THE WHOLE FILM IS AN HOMAGE TO ACTION FILMS! The one-liners and the ironic awareness of its need for one-liners are some of my favourite parts of the film.

Like any good cop, Nicholas Angel follows the right way of approaching crime, thorough investigation and logic, but of course – like any good action film – violence is the only way of bringing the crims to justice. A glorious, bullet chewing, muzzle flashing, ricochet whining, joyful barrage of justice.

Of course, at no point does anyone ask, “where did all the guns come from?” The farmer just ‘found em’ and that’s all anyone cares about, they’re just there: an arsenal of kickass weaponry that are celebrated in a riot of racking, loading, clicking, pumping, sheathing, zipping and slamming. It places Bad Boys II and Point Break on a pedestal, then proceeds to outstrip the lot of them the only way the Brits know how, with class. Nick Frost and Simon Pegg have been comedic partners for many years, so this buddy cop movie was begging to be made with them, and they do it so well.

Now my idea of a perfect Sunday is watching Hot Fuzz…and if Edgar Wright is unable to make a sequel, well I’ll raise my hand… because I know where the guns came from! The heathens of Beauford Abbey…maybe? Every farmer and his mum are packing in the country. However, I reckon his response will be “pfffffttt… jog on.”

But I adore his film anyway.

– Simon Van Der Spoel


NEXT WEEK: What does screenwriter and critic Martyn Pedler adore?? Find out, right here, at whyiadore.wordpress.com!
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3 Responses to “Why Simon Van Der Spoel adores… HOT FUZZ”

  1. Paul B. =:o} April 9, 2011 at 9:55 pm #

    Yay, Hot Fuzz!!! Thankyou for the reminder of why I love this film. =:o} Gotta watch it again now…

  2. emmadee April 14, 2011 at 5:13 pm #

    You missed Peter Jackson himself in the list of cameos–he’s in there for a split second as the stabbing Santa Claus at the beginning. Also, stellar film, for all the reasons you’ve listed.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. images of Jesus - fort wayne journal gazette, shaun of the dead - April 17, 2011

    […] Movie review: Pal trip with alien Paul a fun ride Simon Pegg and Nick Frost are clever and endearing fellows. So one could easily expect the British duo of the zombie comedy “Shaun of the Dead” and the cop buddy riff “Hot Fuzz” to make their alien-meets-lads comedy “Paul” an out-of-this-world ride. Read more on Fort Wayne Journal Gazette Nice related topic here: https://whyiadore.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/why-simon-van-der-spoel-adores-hot-fuzz/ […]

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