The Cornetto Trilogy
Given the usual lack of compelling TV over the festive season I’ve stocked up on viewing material, this for example should keep amused, but I also wanted to tackle a certain confectionary based trilogy which finally got concluded this year. Given that the films have been collected on modestly priced Blu-Ray boxed set I sat down on Boxing Day and powered through the three movies, so I just thought I’d construct some very light coverage until some interesting stuff turns up at the flicks, and being FanBoys themselves the lads always load up the disks with plenty of commentaries, documentaries and associated guff to give their fans something to get their teeth into…..
Shaun is actually much smarter than I give it credit for, I hadn’t seen this for a while so the blend of humor, references and horror was warmly welcomed. They certainly capture that post graduation ennui, the attention to detail of house & flat sharing in your twenties was spot-on, so I could even forgive some of its rather poor production resources in terms of choreography and SFX. Crucially it remains funny, there aren’t many comedies which still make me laugh out loud after four or five viewings and there also aren’t many films which have the balls to make the lead character blow his mum’s head off…..
So having transplanted the horror landscape of Romero to suburban North London the team decided to repeat the trick by blasting the Action film out to Gloucestershire. Wright’s kinetic style truly comes to the form in this one, the whip-pan editing rhythms, the visual gags secreted away in the frame, the playful plundering of genre cinema given a parochial British bend. The final action sequences are hilarious and worthy of their American forebears, throughout the trilogy the scripts set up a series of locations which are revisited (and frequently demolished) in the final acts, combine this with the directing style and the films have a genuine momentum, even when they stir in some giallo ingredients and just a dash of The Wicker Man. Yes, that is Cate Blanchet in a cameo as Nicholas’s girlfriend at the start, amusingly covered up in a mask as police CSI officer and it’s actually illegal in England to talk about Hot Fuzz and not link to this.
I’ve been anxious to see The World’s End again, its cropping up on a lot of genre critics best of the year lists and I was a little lukewarm on it back in August, I stand by my original assessment, it’s fun, it’s watchable, but the gags don’t always hit the mark and the sole female character is badly written – never the lads strongpoint. The second bar fight was still well put together, but that showdown with the Network is quite badly contrived and it all culminates in some rather mixed messages – so, you should just be yourself even if you’re a self anhilitating alcoholic? Still, it has some surface enjoyments, it certainly isn’t anywhere near as wretched as This Is The End (which is this years prize winner for the most unfunny, self congratultory vanity masturbation) but overall this feels like the weakest of the three, but that’s the case with most trilogies isn’t it? So there are clear strands running through the series, characters wrestling with a protracted adolenence, a grapple with a loss of identity, some running gags and a collapsing fence – not a bad legacy;