Shaun of the Dead combined zombie movies with romantic comedies. Hot Fuzz focuses on two films within the same genre, Point Break and Bad Boys II. One might ask why Bad Boys II and not the original, and writer/director Edgar Wright has a perfectly reasoned answer.
Edgar Wright Talks Hot Fuzz
"Because Bad Boys II cost $130 million dollars," he said. "If you spend that much money smashing that many things up, you deserve an Oscar. True. Absolutely. Total vehicular carnage. There were some CGI cars but there were definitely a lot of great stunts in that."
In his take on cop movies, Wright uses famous musical cues like the Lethal Weapon theme. An interesting bit of trivia, that telltale clicking theme isn't even in one of the four Mel and Danny films.
"The Lethal Weapon theme is actually not from the film. It's the trailer score. There's a guy called John Eric Alexander. It's not Michael Kamen's score from the film. It's actually just music specifically done for the trailer. And that same composer did the music for the trailers for like Lethal Weapon, Die Hard, Bad Boys, but it's weird. Whenever I would think of cop films, I would think of that tick tick tick tick tick with the Warner Brothers logo. It's only on the trailers. Mind you that the other thing you always remember from the Lethal Weapon films is David Sanborn's sax riff as well. Ma-ne-ne. That's it."
In the film, by the books British cop Nicolas Angel (Simon Pegg) gets an action movie education from his new partner Danny Butterman (Nick Frost). By the time they solve the town mystery, it ends in an action spectacle that would make Jerry Bruckheimer cower in fear.
"The film cost like twice as much as Shaun of the Dead but the ambition in the script is probably five times that in terms of the amount of characters and the plot and the action. It was really tough and a real challenge and I came out of it with even more respect for the action directors that I love. Doing that stuff is really tough and doing it in the UK with the terrible weather was even worse. What's funny is in that end shootout in the town square is that we never really had the roads closed off. We didn't really have the money to close down. It's kind of like the center of that town so what's funny is that if you imagine every shot where you see if you can imagine behind the camera 50 school children and old ladies watching. It's really, really surreal. You have lots of French exchange students coming through all the time. It's really crazy."
But in this version of the cop movie, we see the boys do all their paperwork. "When we conceived the idea there's a show in the UK called Heartbeat which is kind of like a really boring cop show about a cop in the country and it's sort of like Sunday afternoon TV. Our thing was what it Tony Scott had to direct Heartbeat. So it was to take a really sleepy mundane end of the cop work and amp it up. And we did research with real police officers whilst we were writing. We interviewed lots and lots of police officers both over the phone and in person. We went around London to some of the rougher neighborhoods and we went down to the country as well and we had this questionnaire for all of them and one of the questions was which part of the job have you never seen dramatized on the screen and every single one of them said the paperwork is 50% of the job. It's like being a teacher, actually teaching the kids is like half of it the rest of it is going [over papers]. So with that in mind, and I remember vividly we went to one rural station and there was this tiny room, smaller than this with like eight police officers all like hunched over their things kind of going like that. There were all in their star vests and stuff and it was just this forlorn image of these officers doing their paperwork. So that's was the idea of that. Let's make the paperwork the most exciting bit in the film to really amp it up."
Hot Fuzz opens to theatres on April 20th.
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