Michael Moore would once again have his audiences believe that he is just a regular guy, like them. A good old-fashioned regular American, yes Siree. Well, in that he is opinionated and obese I guess he’s right. Whilst Moore may have perfected the (biased, propagandising) documentary film genre – and here he does portray an excellent case for Universal Free Health Care, to go with the American Dream and French Fries – it also must be noted, that he is also a facetious, irritating git. He thinks it is clever and brilliant to go to Cuba with 9/11 heroes and demand they get the same medical care as Al Qaeda. But it is not. It is a stupid, self-righteous prank (PRank, not Yank). And if I hear one more sympathetically, softly spoken voice over, accompanying the image of another tearfully sobbing victim of Capitalist HMOs, then I may be tempted to arrange a rather more necessary meeting for Moore in the Emergency Room.
Films do not get much more tongue-in-cheek than this riot of a film. Engaging from the very beginning, it sets out to send up every action film – especially buddy cop films – of the last couple of decades. Lethal Weapon, Bad Boys, Point Break, Leon, Mad Max, Jurassic Park, Trainspotting and a whole bunch more are referenced, parodied and spoofed here. The better you know your films, the more you will enjoy this. But do not let that put you off, as it can also be enjoyed knowing nothing of film history. And therein lies its genius. Simon Pegg and Nick Frost (on the surface, a most unlikely action double act, but such is their comic talent, timing and sheer love of film that they work very well) form an improbable partnership that uncovers hidden secrets of the most macabre nature in a peaceful rural English village, “Village of the Year” no less. The city of Wells makes for a beautiful setting, so beautiful that it is easy to be lulled into its false sense of security. The race to uncover the many mysterious deaths is energetically paced, superbly edited (a take off of most Tony Scott action films), full of shocking twists and turns and darkly hilarious all rolled into one. Should it be funny, for example, when a character is impaled by a falling church steeple that lands on top of him causing his head to explode like a watermelon? No it shouldn’t. But it is. Timothy Dalton is also excellent is his role as local supermarket manager.
Another lonely voice on the internet.