What You Never Knew About Hot Fuzz
July 22, 2014
(The shortened opening)
NC: Hello, I'm the Nostalgia Critic, I remember it so you don't have to. And welcome to another installment of...What You Never Knew.
(The logo of What You Never Knew is shown with two large eyes)
Voice: I never knew that!
NC: This is where we look back at movies you've seen a million times, but still managed to miss one or two little details. With that said, let's take a look at one of my favorite comedies ever, Hot Fuzz.
(The title of Hot Fuzz is shown, before showing clips from the movie)
NC (vo): This is arguably the world's greatest satire of American action movies. It's fast, it's clever, every bit of dialogue comes back into play one way or another. It's one of the most ingenious comedies of all time, so ingenious that chances are, you've missed one or two subtle touches that worked its way right past you. And we're here to look at them today. Now it goes without saying, you have to have seen the movie to get all these, so a lot of plot details are going to be revealed. Or, to put it in another way...
(Chester A. Bum is shown briefly)
NC (vo): They're not behind the scenes facts or nitpicking plotholes, they're just the kick-ass little moments you never realized were making the movie more kick-ass.
NC: So let's not waste any time. Let's take a look at Hot Fuzz!
(The logo of What You Never Knew About Hot Fuzz is shown alongside a building being destroyed in an explosion. The explosion will serve as the background image as the numbers countdown. The number 14 is shown)
NC (vo): Cameo time! Hello, Steven Coogan. Hello, Cate Blanchett. Hello, Peter Jackson. Hello, Davy Jones. Hello...Nicholas Angel? Yep, Nicholas Angel, the main character, is actually named after the music supervisor of Shaun of the Dead, The World's End, and, of course, Hot Fuzz. I guess he must've been a really nice guy.
Met (Bill Nighy): The fact is, you've been making us all look bad.
Nicholas: I'm sorry, sir.
[The number 13 is shown]
NC (vo): While Sergeant Angel gets attention for Operation: Crackdown, he's also gotten awards for two other operations. And, yes, if you read them in order, they're Operations: Crackdown, Shakedown and Takedown. Speaking of which, all the people who will eventually end up as villains in the movie also have very cryptic last names, including Hatcher, Skinner, Reaper and Shooter. While we're on the subject of names, Norris Street, where a lot of the action takes place, is named after cheese star Chuck Norris, who's even referenced in the movie. And did you ever notice this joke?
DS Andy Wainwright: Do you want us to go through the whole phone book?
DS Andy Cartwright: Yeah, we'll put a call in to Aaron A. Aaronson, shall we?
[Cut to a scene showing Nicholas encountering a little boy]
Nicholas: What's your name?
Aaron: Aaron Aaronson.
NC (vo): A lot of people miss that the first time.
[The number 12 is shown]
NC (vo): This arcade game appears in every single film in the Cornetto Trilogy, that being Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz and World's End, as well as this fence joke.
[The three instances of the film trilogy, showing a character attempting to jump over a fence but failing, is shown. The number 11 is shown]
NC (vo): You're probably wondering, why is it called the Cornetto Trilogy? That's because every film has a Cornetto ice cream dish in it. And, in a bizarre inspiration from Krzysztof Kieślowski's Three Color film trilogy...yes, they actually do kind of make a reference to that...their colors symbolize an element of the film. In Shaun of the Dead, it's red for zombies. In Hot Fuzz, it's blue for police. And in World's End, it's green for aliens.
NC: Yeah, okay, not the deepest symbolism, but it's still there.
Sgt. Tony Fisher: You're saying this wasn't an accident?
[The number 10 is shown]
NC (vo): Hot Fuzz is actually praised by police for one realistic portrayal of crime work. Can you guess what it is? [A scene showing Nicholas leaping and shooting two guns is shown] No. [A scene showing Nicholas driving his car while shooting his gun is shown] No. [A scene showing a man's head getting flattened by a stone is shown] Definitely not. It's actually the paperwork. Most officers point out that the paperwork is never addressed in cop films, yet this one shows it being done after every single event. Many were happy that arguably the most annoying and tedious part of the job was finally getting some recognition. Good catch.
Nicholas: There's no way you can perpetrate that amount of carnage and mayhem and not incur a considerable amount of paperwork.
[The number 9 is shown]
NC (vo): While we're on the subject, three parts of the film is pointing out why a lot of the actions in, well, action movies couldn't happen in real-life. Because of this, the film tries to account for the lack of action by making mundane things look like intense, action-packed moments, even though little is going on.
[Some little moments in the film are portrayed as intense and "keep your eyes open" sequences]
NC (vo): Additionally, when the film's climax does decide to indulge in every action film cliche known to man, a lot of the mundane lines said before suddenly come back as classic badass one-liners.
Joyce Cooper: [in a quiet moment] Fascist. Seven across.
Nicholas: Hag. It's 12 down.
[Cut to the climax]
Joyce Cooper: Facist!
[The number 8 is shown]
NC (vo): Did you ever notice that when Timothy Dalton drives by a murder scene, there's always a fitting song playing? For example, when he drives by the dead actors from Romeo and Juliet, the song "Romeo and Juliet" is playing. [The song is heard briefly] Or when he drives by the flaming corpse of another victim, a song emphasizing fire is playing. [That song is heard briefly] This isn't surprising, seeing how the sound design team often reinforces and foreshadows what's going to happen in the film, like cutting the hedge-clippers foreshadows this woman's death.
Woman: I was just about to pop up, actually.
NC (vo): Or indicating a staff's stupidity with a wrong answer buzzer.
Simon Skinner: My work force. [A buzzer buzzes]
NC (vo): Listen closely, and you'll hear them all throughout the film.
[Various more sound effects shown in the film are heard]
Met: I'm the chief inspector.
[The number 7 is shown]
NC (vo): Innuendos foreshadowing the characters' deaths are also all over the place. Some obvious...
Nicholas: Hopefully, that's the last we'll see of him.
Reverend: Tim, your number's up.
Frank Butterman: I'll make sure everyone gets their just desserts.
NC (vo): But others, kind of subtle. [A scene showing some men chanting "Splat the Rat!" is shown] Well, I said, kind of.
Nicholas: Pack it in, Frank, you silly bastard!
[The number 6 is shown]
NC (vo): While there certainly is a mystery trying to be solved, most people miss there actually are two being set up. The quote/unquote "real one" centers around the tackiness and non-rustic nature of people who need to be axed off for the neighborhood's peaceful appearance. But there is another totally plausible murder plot about a bypass, land ownership, expanding corporations.
Nicholas: You see, the land merchant was buying a little value in of itself. It'll be a prime location for, say, a retail park.
NC (vo): It all falls ingeniously into place, except for the fact that it just wasn't the motive. In reality, the motives were much more childish and juvenile, making the joke all the more hilarious.
Simon: Blower's fate was simply the result of his being an appalling actor.
Nicholas: You murdered him for that?
Simon: But he murdered Bill Shakespeare.
NC (vo): This film is like the Psycho or Vertigo of comedies, writing such a complicated and clever setup, only to have it lead to something completely different. Pretty damn clever.
Joyce: It's all about the greater good.
Bad guys: The greater good.
[The number 5 is shown]
NC (vo): The swear jar has all the words you can't say blocked out, except for arguably the most offensive word in the English language. [An arrow points to that exact word] That one is shown in its entirety. Priorities, I guess.
Danny: What a c**t.
[The number 4 is shown]
NC (vo): On a sentimental note, we see Danny and his father at the carnival get dressed up in the exact same cowboy outfits they wore when Danny's mother was still alive, showing he still has that quite sensitive side to him. Though, not sensitive enough not to pull out a club on a swan. [Chuckles] I love that.
[The number 3 is shown]
NC (vo): An interesting notion, Sanford has a city model where part of the climax takes place. It's possible that one of the ways Sanford wants to be a model city is to literally have a model city. Even the sign sort of reinforces that it wants you to associate that term with the town. Also interesting to note that while Dalton attacks the generalist with a steeple, it's fitting revenge that a steeple is what ends up attacking him, and, of course, just as gruesomely.
[Simon's death scene is shown. The number 2 is shown]
NC (vo): You might've noticed very quickly that Fisher is not the best officer.
Fisher: What do you reckon? Angel?
Fisher: [whispers] Help me.
NC (vo): If you didn't get it before, perhaps this subtle image might help.
[Fisher's head is shown in front of a paper describing the elements of an unfit police officer]
[The number 1 is shown]
NC (vo): And the Number 1 Thing You Never Knew About Hot Fuzz is...nobody dies in the climax. Yeah, think about it. It's violent, it's gory, it has all the action cliches expected out of such a scene, but bizarrely enough, every single person lives and goes to jail. My thought is that, maybe Angel is so die-hard on being a good police officer and going by the book, that he never officially kills anyone. That is what a cop is supposed to do, right? Get him out of a situation as peaceful as possible? And while Danny always talks about those great action scenes where they blow up a whole bunch of guys, in this one, not one ever gets killed off. So they end up playing it both their ways. The only one who I assume doesn't get out alive is the guy who knocks into the bomb at the end. But even then, so many people unrealistically make it out that it's strangely possible he might have, too. I don't know. If someone can survive this, why couldn't someone survive this? Well, even if he does get axed off, it still wasn't Angel who killed him. He just knocked him on his feet, leaving him totally murderless and still the best cop that Sanford's ever had, which ties in all the more to the consistency and kick-ass nature this awesome comedy has to offer.
NC: Are there any more that we missed? Are there any little details worth talking about? Well, leave them in the comments section below and keep talking about a movie that's definitely worth talking about. I'm the Nostalgia Critic. I remember it so you don't have to.
[He gets up and leaves. The credits roll]