Year of Release: 2007
Director: Edgar Wright
Screenplay: Simon Pegg and Edgar Wright
Starring: Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Jim Broadbent, Timothy Dalton
Running Time: 121 minutes
Genre: Comedy, action
Police Constable Nicholas Angel (Pegg) is one of the best officers in London's Metropolitan Police. Fed up with Angel constantly outshining the rest of the force, his superiors transfer him to the sleepy, rural village of Sandford. Angel reluctantly resigns himself to a life of turfing underage drinkers out of the local pub, collaring shoplifters, mediating disputes over garden hedges and occasionally finding lost swans. However, it soon turns out that Sandford suffers from a disproportionately high number of fatal accidents. Angel soon suspects that there is something deeply sinister going on in the village, but the only one of Sandford's lazy and incompetent police force who believes him is eager, childish Danny Butterman (Frost), whose idea of policing seems to largely come from American action movies, and who also happens to be the son of the head of the Sandford Police, Inspector Frank Butterman (Broadbent).
This film forms the second of Wright, Pegg and Frost's "Cornetto Trilogy" (the others being Shaun of the Dead (2004) and The World's End (2013)). It can best be envisioned as being like a big Hollywood action movie plunked down in the middle of a quiet, Miss Marple style English village. The film constantly references action movies, frequently spoofing the cliche's of the genre. It's consistently funny, and the jokes keep running thick and fast throughout. The sometimes graphic violence and over the top action are played as almost slapstick comedy, and Wright is a great visual director, and he choreographs the carnage very well. Pegg and Frost perform very well together and their bond provides the emotional core of the film. However the film feels about ten minutes too long and lacks the resonance of Shaun of the Dead and The World's End. Also female characters barely get a look-in. The eagle-eyed may spot cameos from Lord of the Rings director Peter Jackson (as a man dressed as Santa Claus) and Cate Blanchett (as a forensic investigator, with her face alomst completely concealed by a mask).