hours after my first viewing of Hot Fuzz I am still chuckling over small moments and big jokes. I’m not allowed to write a review of the film yet, but I don’t think anyone is going to mind that I tell you that Edgar Wright, Simon Pegg and Nick Frost do not suffer from anything remotely resembling a sophomore slump in their follow-up to Shaun of the Dead. Hot Fuzz is a movie that lives perfectly in the same strata as Shaun – a terrific comedy with lovable and real characters and a plot that tweaks cop film conventions while, at the same time, hitting the beats perfectly and seriously. Part of what makes Shaun a great film is that it IS a zombie movie – in the same way, Hot Fuzz IS a buddy cop movie.

What I love about the writing of Edgar Wright and Simon Pegg is how tight it is – everything that gets brought up is there for a reason, and always pays off with a terrific gag later on. Hot Fuzz ups that ante, as they not only seed the film with that but they also create a great mystery that London super-cop Nicholas Angel must solve – a mystery that manages to reference and pay homage to a wide range of classic films without ever screwing up the story or calling too much attention to the nods. These movies must be so hard to write not just because they’re so funny but because they’re so well-structured.

I spent a goodly portion of Hot Fuzz with a huge grin on my face, especially during some of the inventive kills. There’s one death scene in this movie that is probably already a lock for best kill of the year. The movie is surprisingly gory, and it’s got plenty of cracking action as well. If you’re a fan of Shaun of the Dead I guarantee you will love this movie.

UK readers get to see Hot Fuzz in just a few weeks – it opens there on the 16th of February and in the US on April 13th. Look for some exciting announcements about the film here in the coming weeks, and while I’m in London this week I’ll probably be seeing the movie again and chatting with Edgar Wright a little bit, if we can make schedules work out. I know it sucks having to wait, US of A, but keep warm with the thought that this movie is just as good as you had hoped.