Jan 2008 30

Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg, and Nick Frost have re-teamed for a send of buddy action films and they do a marvelous job for the most part, but still fall short of their previous effort Shaun of the Dead.
Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is the premier officer in London, capturing numerous medals and awards for his valor. Angel is so good he is making everyone else look bad and the force unanimously decides to transfer him to the small village of Sandford. Angel begrudgingly accepts his duty as an officer and takes the transfer to only feel like a fish out of water almost immediately. After his arrival a series of deaths begin to occur and Angel begins to grow suspicious. Sandford is know for a non-existent crime and murder rate but has an alarming accident rate to boot.
Angel slowly builds a relationship with bumbling Constable Danny Butterman (Frost) who is in love with action movies and is a bit of a mockery of the force to Angel. Danny looks up to him though and over time and investigation of the deaths their bond grows quickly.
Like I said previously, the film is a send up of action movies, but doesn’t just spoof or parody them blatantly. There is a solid storyline and one that will keep you guessing and even maybe surprise you. Though, the film as a whole is not to be taken seriously as they are just having fun and playing with the conventions of the modern action film formula. That doesn’t mean the quality is sacrificed, as it is all top-notch, with tongue-in-cheek, nods and winks throughout, and everyone’s name is a joke or play on words the movie has plenty of gags to throw at you. Every cliché imaginable is in here for an action film, ridiculous shoot outs, car chases, one-liners, mass arming of the heroes, and it’s all done purposefully corny and ludicrous on purpose; which makes it ok. Though, I will say that at the end it gets a bit to contrive for its own good and misses some really great opportunities to just be even more over the top and fun then it already is.
The movie works so well because the cast is having fun and clearly gets the joke they are going for. Jim Broadbent is great as the police chief and plays all facets of his role with great fun and enjoyment. Paddy Considine is also great as Detective Andy who busts the balls of Angel throughout. The rest of the police station crew is great in their bit parts as well and are all enjoyable on screen. Timothy Dalton is clearly having a blast as well playing the potentially villainous Simon Skinner and has some of the better laughs in the film.
The movie puts fun twists on predictive clichés in the action story and is entertaining throughout. Just as rewarding on the second viewing with new bits being picked up along the way to only further your enjoyment of the film. Pegg is a comedy star and hopefully he breaks through in the US sooner rather then later with Edgar Wright and Frost in tow, because this comedy trio is tough to beat.


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