Fridge / Hot Fuzz

  • Throughout the movie, notice how despite his joviality and friendliness, Frank Butterman always somehow manages to stick Angel with any demeaning, tedious and shitty job just guaranteed to tick him off, while the other officers get the easy stuff, the day off to enjoy the fete, ice cream, etc.
    • In light of Frank's role as one of the NWA ringleaders, it's actually a clever ploy; he not only dulls the other officers' instincts and makes them resent Nick when he actually makes them do some work, he isolates Nick from the other officers, increases his resentment of and annoyance with them and either dulls his instincts or drives him out of his mind with boredom, thus making him seem increasingly irrational and diminishing his credibility. He also ensures that Nick will get so sick of the job that it would be entirely credible if he just up and 'disappeared' one day.
  • The song at the end of the "tribute" to William Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet ("Lovefool"), along with the gun thing, is a reference to...William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.
  • Where did the NWA got all their guns and ammunition from? American viewers might be unaware that it's actually quite difficult for people in the UK to get hold of the sort of weapons the NWA are armed with.
    • With the exception of an occasional handgun or shotgun, all the weapons are pretty old, many of Second World War vintage. Even the FN rifle that Nick Angel uses for all too brief a time has been out of British Army service for about 30 years.
    • The simplest explanation is that these weapons were all collected during firearms amnesties, of which there have been several in the UK during recent years. Such amnesties usually scoop up quantities of wartime souvenirs as well as a small amount of unlicensed modern weapons.
    • Although they are then meant to be melted down for scrap, this is clearly not what was happening in Sandford. Instead, with the connivance of the Chief Inspector, the choicest items were being siphoned off and handed out to the NWA's members, should they ever become necessary, with a strategic reserve being stored in Arthur Webley's barn.
    • Sanford being located out in Gloucestershire helps this even more: they're in the country and largely unmonitored by London. Indeed, the officers out in London seem to take Sanford's, "peaceful West Country village where Nothing Exciting Ever Happens (and certainly not anything like crime or what have you" facade at face value, so they'd be unlikely to actually look into anything, if they thought they had reason to suspect that something was rotten in the town of Sanfored with regard to gun control — hence the Andies' early-on insistence that there are more guns in the country than there are in the city, and that, "Everybody and their mums is packin' 'round here."
    • Even better, the real-world timeline would put this as having happened for about twenty years at the time of the movie (i.e., starting cc. 1987), which means that, when the NWA started their crusade, it was before the real crackdown on firearms in the UK (the two main laws of which were passed in 1988 and 1997). When every other police force got tough on guns, the NWA just stockpiled them out of sight. No wonder they can get hold of the types of guns they have.
  • Angel only starts chewing on the toothpick in the evidence locker for one reason: to spit out in the the town square. The town, obsessed with neatness as it is, now has a little tiny piece of litter on the ground, just another part of Angel's giant 'Fuck You!' to the NWA.
  • At the end, the first officer to believe him is Walker (Oi r'ck'n e's gut summat thar). We know that Sandford has been living the lie for approximately twenty years, at least since Danny was a young child. Since most of the officers on the force are about Danny's age, they would have been children when the NWA first started as well. Walker is the only one who is older, and is definitely old enough to remember a time before the NWA were in charge, and thus the most likely to be able to realise that Angel might be telling the truth.
  • Nick recruiting the kids to spraypaint the cameras. At first it seems like he's just getting them with the promise of mischief. But considering the town's obsession with being perfect, the kids must have been really prevented from being able to do anything that would disrupt its image. And what's more, the NWA has shown it will kill minors who might lessen the town's chances of winning the contest. The kids were acting with Nick in self defense!
    • This also ties in with an abandoned subplot. Originally, the leader of the hoodies was revealed to be the grandson of Tom Weaver, the man behind the cameras and civilian liaison between the NWA and the Sanford Police Service. Nick would discover this but wouldn't reveal it to Weaver, thereby gaining the hoodies' trust.
    • Another bonus: the boy would've been called Gabriel, after one of the archangels.
  • Why couldn't the NWA members hit Angel? Well, okay, he got hit twice — once after exposing himself from cover and then with sleeve guns — but even then relatively close range from handguns. The NWA had never used their guns before — they couldn't. It would be one thing to practice with them — loud as they are, the countryside around Sandford is big enough to minimize that — but their ammo is probably limited (see above explanation about firearms in the UK). It's also harder to make an 'accident' out of a fatal gunshot wound, a high 'suicide' rate would reflect very badly on Sandford, and the noise doesn't fit with their behind-the-scenes M.O. In short, Possession Implies Mastery is being subverted here.
    • At the same time, Frank is the only NWA member to accurately hit anything of a smaller size category than "the broadside of a barn" (the chandelier at the pub — without looking, either!). He's probably the only one with any kind of firearms training at all. Then there's the cops — sorry, 'police constables' — but that's probably just suppressive fire (warning fire, with the trolley boys) as much as anything. We only ever see them shooting at the vastly underarmed supermarket staff, so there's less justification for them to shoot to kill. That, and they certainly know everyone involved.
  • The reason the other officers are so good at armed response? Frank's been setting their training so that, with their skillsets, there's no way for them to transfer or be replaced. Thus, their actual aptitude in standard police work is kept to such a level that they're only useful as pawns under his control, keeping any other station from wanting them besides the obvious benefit to the NWA. And as the outside chance that they would ever leave Sandford is reduced, the chance that any replacements would come in from outside is also low, as what training they do have also makes them hard to replace.
    • Ex: from what we can see of him, Sgt. Fisher might be described on paper as "highly trained in SWAT tactics and media relations" — who could replace that, and then all the way out in Gloucestershire?
    • More obviously, that lack of standard policing knowledge also keeps them from believing Angel (or any officer not raised under Frank) for far too long, and ensures an impressive level of frustration for the newbie, which can create a handy and convenient excuse for quietly removing him from the picture (and making sure no one will really miss him), should he start to make too much trouble.
  • It's entirely possible Sgt. Popwell actually had his breakdown, and was then killed for the petty reason of being a public nuisance, not because he discovered anything sinister. The other officers don't talk about him, for one — you'd think the Andies at least would call Angel the 'replacement' or something — and even they would at least be a little suspicious if he disappeared for no reason.
    • They actually do talk about Sgt. Popwell, albeit briefly. Outside of Frank with his, "GREAT BIG BUSHY BEARD!!" moment, Det. Wainwright mentions Sgt. Popwell during the Sanford Police Service's first lunch out together after Nicolas gets made Sergeant himself. However, the way in which Wainwright brings him up — "I bet you can't wait to jump into Sgt. Popwell's grave" — really just lends credence to this idea. While it's unlikely that Danny, Doris, the Andies, Fisher, and Walker actually know that Popwell is dead, given that his corpse is down in the catacombs with Shoplifting Pete, the Human Statue, the young kids from the pub, the family of travellers and their dog, et al., they've probably been led to believe that he had to leave Sanford or be sent away because rural policing made him go a bit 'round the twist and he became a nuisance and/or a danger to himself or others.
  • When Angel sees the action movies at the gas station, he's not thinking "I'm Nicholas f*cking Angel, and I need to go back to Sandford and be Nicholas. F*cking. Angel!" — he's thinking "...Danny!" — that's why he looks so pissed, and why he can't waste time bringing back the full brunt of the MPS. ...which he could do — disgraced as he is, London has absolutely no reason whatsoever to think he's a liar. Even if Danny did something like claim that he destroyed his car to make Angel's death look kinda real, the NWA would eventually catch on (where's the wreckage?), and then he'd be a dead man. It's probably part of why he looks so down in his patrol car just before the shootout; as well as the shock of the masquerade being lifted, a movie buff like him wouldn't miss the fact that his dad and the people he grew up with are going to 'accident' him away in the near future. That then becomes "Nicholas f*cking Angel is back!", and then "I'm gonna clean up my hometown! *pump-action cock*"
  • When breaking up with Janine at the beginning of the film, Angel mentions how, "guilty people often make the first move." It seems to be a throwaway line at first, but the "guilty" people of Sandford (i.e. those working for the Greater Good) all initiate conversation first when meet Angel, thus making the first move with him themselves.
  • A beautiful piece of Fridge Brilliance builds up over the course of the film, with how the other officers react to Nicolas and treat him and his building suspicions about the conspiracy in Sanford:
    • After Eve Draper and Martin Blower are found dead following their alleged, "traffic collision," Angel suggests to the Andies that, "Things aren't always as simple as they look," only for Det. Wainwright to tell him, "Most times they are!"
    • Neither of the Andies has considered Angel's point about skid marks at the crime scene — that their absence means that Blower and Draper went for 300 yards without doing anything to stop the car crashing or save themselves from almost certain death — until he suggests it, and when Angel brings this up, both assume that he is talking about the sort of skid marks you find in underwear (with Det. Cartwright snickering childishly for the rest of the scene).
    • After George Merchant is blown up in his home, they come by to "interview the last two people to see Mr. Merchant alive" — Angel and Danny ("Sgt. Knickerless Arsewipe and Constable Fanny Batterbum"). When Angel demands to know why they keep treating the recent string of deaths (three people in the past week) like "such a big joke," Wainwright tells him, "Come on, Doctor Sherlock! They were accidents!" and Cartwright echoes his partner with, "People have accidents every day."
    • They similarly dismiss Angel's point that the victims knew each other by telling him, "Everyone knows everyone 'round here" — a fair enough point in Sanford (Frank later uses it as a point against Angel, by reminding the rest of the service that, "He isn't even from 'round here!"), but investigating the common ground that exists between the victims, especially Merchant, Blower, and Draper, is what accidentally leads Angel to discover the truth about the NWA and Sanford's ostensibly low crime rate. Furthermore, investigating any common ground that goes beyond the ordinary does fall under a Detective's responsibilities, even in a village where everyone knows everyone.
    • After Tim Messenger's murder at the church fete, Wainwright complains about how the work Angel's called on the officers to do is keeping him from being at the pub and tells him off with, "This ain't the city, Mister Angel! Not everyone's a murderin' psychopath! It's high time you realized that."
    • Finally, after Leslie Tiller is murdered: at the crime scene, Fisher asks Angel, with a straight face, "Hang about, hang about… So you're saying this wasn't an accident?"
    • Back at the station, Wainwright tells him to, "Change the fucking record" from his, "Murder, murder, muuurrrrrder!" routine. Fisher agrees and says, "You've gotta accept that it was just another nasty accident!"; he then counters Angel's desperate and outraged, "What are you suggesting? That Leslie Tiller tripped and fell on her own shears?!" with an anecdote about some local called Ben Fletcher, who "fell on his pitchfork the other week." Here, Doris jumps in by pointing out, "Accidents happen all the time. What makes you think it was murder?"
    • When Angel points out that he chased a suspect from the scene, Fisher suggest that it might be, "our old friend, the Cactus Thief," and when Angel interrupts the other officers' nostalgic laughter with, "Am I going COMPLETELY MAD?!", the Andies gang up on him to suggest that maybe he is going mad and possibly even committed the crime he just witnessed and killed Leslie Tiller himself ("Seein' as how you're such a BIG FAN'A MURDER!!").
    • At a first glance, all of this looks like willful ignorance to the point of stupidity — coupled with a desire, especially on the Andies' collective part, for Angel to be wrong and end up looking foolish. However, it makes perfect sense when you consider one simple fact: All of these officers have grown up and spent their entire lives in Sandford, and unlike PC Walker, none of them are old enough to really remember the time before the NWA took over (nor are they as enamored with Nicolas as Danny is).
    • It's still willful ignorance of a sort, on their part, but it's not actually being done out of malice or even particularly consciously. Moreover, as they reveal when they join Nicolas and Danny against the NWA in the end, once they have proof enough, none of them thinks that the NWA's actions are acceptable, and none of them thinks that their previous personal conflicts with Nicolas are so huge that they can't be put aside in the name of stopping the NWA and saving their hometown from its stranglehold.
    • Therefore, it stands to reason that, up until the climax? These officers really did just honestly believe that the accident rate in Sanford is completely normal.
  • Okay, murdering everyone who's a nuisance to the town is a fairly obvious way of telling that Sandford's residents are very much keen on staying clean and pure but taking a look at the names of the members of the NWA can also net you a hint. Shooter, Treacher, Skinner, Weaver. These are all last names that originate from the time where last names started to become popular and getting a last name based on your profession was fairly common.
  • PC Walker may seem like just a dirty old man at first, throwing out dirty words every now and then, like "Tits." and "Cocks." Then you realise, he is actually giving one-word explanations of Doris' hideously bad double entendres.
  • Frank Butterman never once outright lies about the murder-rate in Sanford. Every time murder is brought up he says, "There hasn't been a recorded murder in over twenty years." There were murders, dozens most likely, but the were never reported/recorded as such and wound up on the record as disappearances or nasty accidents.
  • Near the end, where the naval mine blows up. Think about it. The whole movie is filled with Chekhov's Guns, one of which is the naval mine. This Chekhov's Gun was in the evidence room, which was, in effect, an armoury. See what they did there? There's a Chekhov's Gun in an armoury. Considering that the armoury itself is a Chekhov's Gun, it's a Chekhov's Gun in a Chekhov's Armoury.
  • We constantly see Angel with a radio over his right shoulder. So when he went to buy Danny a rubber plant (Japanese Peace Lily), why didn't he use that one, from inside the store? Because that was the one time in his life when he was out in Police garb but not in regulation vest and equipment, because he simply grabbed his jacket at the station and legged it to go buy Danny a gift!
  • Fridge Brilliance: When Angel turns away from the florist's counter to go and use the radio in his cruiser, the robed, hooded NWA member behind him would have been in plain sight to Leslie Tiller. Why didn't she scream, or try to defend herself? Because she was one of them! She thought the hooded member was there to give her the call to action, or perhaps to wish her farewell on her trip.
  • Fridge Horror: The underage drinkers that Nicholas arrests at the beginning later show up dead at the hands of the NWA. Without realizing it, Nicholas accidentally sent them to their deaths.
  • It is possible that Martin Blower was killed in what appeared to be an appropriate way — a car crash — not because he was an appalling actor, but because Angel caught him doing about 45 in a 30 zone. Being as bad as he is on stage and ruining the Dramatic Society — "an important feather in [Sanford's] cap," and at the expense of the, "two semi-professionals waiting in the wings" (Greg, who was an extra in Straw Dogs, and Sheree, who portrayed a cadaver in Prime Suspect; both members of the NWA who are present in the confrontation at the castle) — was certainly the reason for his death, but the way his death is set up is a second level of karmic punishment for him.
    • This may even help lead to the Andies accusing Angel of being the one behind the murders:
      • He and Danny were the last people to see George Merchant alive (as the Andies point out), when they escorted him home from the pub;
      • He pulled Martin Blower over for speeding and gave him a thorough dressing down over it (one that Martin might have talked about, considering he sent the (first set of) tickets over to the station by way of an apology), and it is almost certain that either Angel or Danny talked about the incident at the station (they would have had to fill out the paperwork about it after handing out the speeding ticket; he does say that, "[They] can't accept gifts from someone [they]'ve officially rebuked" before ripping up Blower's tickets; and Danny was more than a little bit enthused by having seen something in Sanford that resembles, "proper action and shit," so he might have run his mouth off, too);
      • Angel was going to meet Tim Messenger in the churchyard before he had his head smashed in (Angel has a nominal alibi, in this case — most of the town believes that Tim Messenger is a victim of the church roof's dire need of repair, but had anyone really believed Angel: he claims to have seen someone on the church roof, and as he obviously was not on the church roof when Tim Messenger's head got blown up, it couldn't have been him — but even so, his involvement could still look suspicious);
      • and Angel is both the last person to see Leslie Tiller alive and the only person, besides Leslie, whom they can prove was at the scene — at least, without having to do any actual work.
    • Which is all a bit of Fridge Brilliance in its own right. On one hand, the Andies are doing exactly what Nicolas has been trying to get them to do all along — i.e., their damn jobs as Detectives — and they're scrutinizing the evidence more thoroughly, picking out a bigger pattern among all of the incidents, finding common ground between the victims and making hypotheses about its significance based on all the evidence available to them, etc.
    • However, much like Angel ends up doing this and being wrong about the exact nature of the conspiracy in Sanford, the Andies look in the wrong corner for their answer. Why? …Because, on the other hand, you have the enclosed nature of the town and the suspicion of people who aren't from 'round here coming out, just like Frank and the NWA have been encouraging in Sanford's populace since they covertly took over the town.
  • When you first see the "Splat the Rat" booth at the fete, you might be thinking that this is purely foreshadowing Tim Messenger's death: he gets splattered rather gruesomely. But when you examine the motives for killing him, you realise that this doesn't add up — he hasn't betrayed the town or the NWA in any way, meaning that he isn't a "rat" in any sense of the word. But then you realise — who is Messenger speaking to at the time? Who gets murdered later on, for planning to take her gardening talents to another town, an act that would be very easy to see as a betrayal? Leslie Tiller. The "Splat the Rat" Booth isn't just foreshadowing Messenger's death — it's foreshadowing Tiller's as well! Clever.
  • When Angel's chasing the figure in the black hood, it's eventually revealed that it was multiple people, including one that was positioned properly to give the illusion that he was too far away for Angel to chase down (while the actual hooded figure was much closer). That seems really, really well-coordinated... but the NWA has cameras everywhere, are really good at communicating (and many members carry walkie-talkies with them everywhere), and likely had the route scouted out ahead of time for just that kind of getaway.
  • Fridge Horror: The town is screwed. Most of Sandford's important citizens,the police chief, supermarket manager, priest ect. were members of NWA and it's unlikely that they'll be released from jail anytime soon. Not to mention the public image of having a fascist cult running the town for twenty years. How will the town recover?
  • Fridge Horror: Nicolas didn't seem that shocked for seeing Tim Messenger being brutally killed right in front of him. Did he encounter even worse murders in the metropolis?

http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Fridge/HotFuzz