Sunday, January 13, 2008

Top & Bottom 10 of 2007 - #9

Hot Fuzz (2007)
From the people who brought us Shaun of the Dead comes an affectionate sendup of all the not-so-great Michael Bay/Jerry Bruckheimer films where explosions are more important than character development. Simon Pegg stars as a hotshot police officer who gets exiled to the country because he is too good, making the rest of the London police force look bad. There, along with the constable’s son (Nick Frost), he uncovers the town’s dark secret, culminating in a grand explosion of action that would put John Woo, Michael Bay, and Tony Scott to shame (or make them proud, take your pick). The script is full of dry British wit, and the story of two friends who are able to get the other one to stretch (Frost becomes a better police officer while Pegg learns how to relax) is effective. And the award for best cameo of the year goes to Bill Nighy who is hilarious as the police inspector responsible for sending Pegg’s character to the country.

Ghost Rider (2007)
The beginning was so formulaic: each scene screaming out its importance with foreshadowing oozing from every pore. Then the visual effects kick in, with most of them looking silly and nothing looking original. When Ghost Rider battles the villains, the rule seems to be that whoever can produce the biggest special effects wins. And we won’t even get into the issues of everyone being sinners so there are no innocent people, and the devil is a far cry from being God’s lawman, the way he’s pictured here.

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