Who's in It:
Simon Pegg, Nick Frost, Martin Freeman, Bill Nighy, Timothy Dalton, Jim Broadbent, Paddy Considine, Steve Coogan
The Basics: I really want to tell you what movie they're remaking here, because it's a good one that was recently remade badly, but I'd be giving away the surprise at the end if I did, so I'll just say that this cop comedy from the Shaun of the Dead guys is awesome. A cop so good (Pegg) he made the London police look bad gets transferred to a small village, where he gets no crimes to solve and a usually drunk action-movie obsessive (Frost) as a partner. And then the murders start
What's the Deal? You don't need to be a fanboy or to have seen 100 cop/action movies (which I guess is the same thing) to get this, but if you have, you'll be the one person laughing when they reenact key moments from Point Break and Bad Boys II or paraphrase dialogue from Chinatown. The high and the low (and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet) all get a workout that destroys the line between parody and homage. In fact, it improves on the movies it's stealing from a lot of the time and never stops being smart and hilarious, even as it gives you plenty of car chases, guns going off, exploding stuff and crazy superviolence.
Who Should See It: Fans of Lethal Weapon, Grindhouse, The Office, Look Around You and all those other BBC America Brit-coms. And, obviously, Shaun of the Dead. It would also help if you dig Michael Bay movies for all the wrong reasons.
Who Shouldn't See It: The little kids someone brought to the screening I was at. One was about 7, and the other was 12. The 7-year-old whined and played with her little video-game thing the whole time, and the 12-year-old enjoyed the explosions and gun battles, but he was bored for the rest of it, because he didn't understand the way people in England speak. He said so afterwards. In fact, anyone, young or old, who thinks of England as that much of a foreign country will probably end up walking out like the woman sitting behind me who knocked me in the head trying to get to the aisle and leave.
How Long, Oh, Lord? Comes in at two hours and one minute. That's looooong for a comedy but if you compare it to one of its templates, Bad Boys II, it's still shorter. That one was nearly two and a half hours.