Hot Fuzz ★★★★½

Delightfully refreshing, highly entertaining, and often hilarious, this film successfully combines elements from comedies, slasher movies, and buddy-cop action flicks, with references to movies in other genres thrown in for good measure.

"Hot Fuzz" is nicely paced and deftly edited, the characters are sufficiently individualized and appropriately quirky, and the story is well written and very engaging. Edgar Wright skillfully directs the movie, handling the changes in tone with apparent ease. The fictional village of Sandford provides a perfect and decidedly picturesque setting for the events that transpire.

The cast, which includes Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Timothy Dalton, and Jim Broadbent, is top-notch. There are cameo appearances by, among others, Bill Nighy, Steve Coogan, Cate Blanchett, and Peter Jackson, although the latter two are pretty much impossible to recognize (Blanchett plays the main character’s ex-girlfriend, a crime-scene investigator; Jackson the man in a Santa Claus costume who stabs the protagonist).