I had a chance to see the new film from the crew behind Spaced and Shaun of the Dead last night at a special preview at the ICA. Afterwards there was a Q&A with Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost. Frost I’d seen before but Pegg pretty much looks like he does on TV while Wright is munchkin sized with teddy boy style facial hair. Pegg seemed pretty much questioned out and had to stir himself at times to respond to people’s questions. The publicity trail does seem pretty gruelling though, the latest thing I’ve seen him do are introductions to FilmFour’s cult series.
I didn’t ask any questions and the only interesting trivia I picked up is that both Wright and Pegg are West Country boys and Wright shot his early films in Wells (which also the setting for Hot Fuzz). The next day I realised I should have asked something about the relationship between the lack of cop films and the tremendous about of police TV drama.
Anyway… the film is… completely amazing and all-round better than Shaun of the Dead so if you liked that you’ll love this. If you didn’t like SotD then there is at least a chance you will like this. Although all the regular cast members are around (except Mark Heap) there is an effort to get away from the Spaced characterisations (as acknowledged in the Q&A) . Although Wright’s style still relies on really fast cuts and out and out scene stealing from other movies it is actually a movie rather than TV on a really big screen. Pegg has dramatically improved as an actor and has a lot more screen presence that he did in SotD.
The script is really, really funny and there’s less nostalgia and more gags, situation humour and quips perhaps reflecting the use of anecdotes from real policemen rather than just recycling pop culture.
It opens on Valentine’s Day and I’d recommend it to anyone.