I finally got around to seeing “Hot Fuzz.” And my heterosexual man-crush on Simon Pegg is now officially in full effect. (And let’s not forget co-writer and director Edgar Wright, who also gets major credit.)
The first half of the movie was great. As I’d read in the reviews, it played beautifully off the techniques and cliches of American action movies.
But for me, the movie really achieved something transcendent in the second half. I hadn’t read a mention of this in any of the reviews. And if you haven’t seen the movie yet, be forewarned. This is something of a spoiler.
But it incorporates the action movie parody into an extended, brilliant riff on the 1973 British cult horror movie “The Wicker Man.”
A 2006 remake of “The Wicker Man” starring Nicolas Cage has actually acquired cult status of its own, for being so bad that it’s hilarious. I’ve never seen it.
But if you’ve never seen the original “Wicker Man,” by all means do so. It’s a terrific movie.
My respect for Simon Pegg, already at astronomical levels, went up still further when he worked that into “Hot Fuzz.” And as with the action cop movies he was already riffing on, he shows a genuine affection and respect for the source material when he starts in with the Wicker Man jokes.
Well played, Simon.