I stuck it in expecting a lot; Shaun of the Dead had me in stitches throughout, Spaced is - despite my initial not-grokking it back when it was first aired (a situation since rectified) - one of the best sitcoms ever made and I have a lot of time for Simon Pegg as a comic actor, going at least as far back as Big Train. It is perhaps my fault then that I found this offering disappointing to start with - high expectations are often a route to disappointment after all, and I found the slow set-up largely devoid of laugh-out-loud humour and lacking even in enough wry smiles to keep me truly entertained.
Persevering worked though; the chain of events surrounding the climax ramped up the pace, the humour and the interest and I did finally start emitting the guffaws that I had expected. I was left satisfied, glad to have seen the film, but feeling as though I am unlikely to re-visit it anytime soon. In my mind it suffers greatly from its big brother, where the same people (and actually, IMO a better-suited supporting cast - Dylan Moran for the win!) had a funnier premise (what isn't better with zombies!), a better script and a style that was fresher to the viewer and left a lasting impression that cannot help but to shape any opinion of this offering. I was guilty of expecting the same, perhaps better - refined by their experience - and thus not taking things at face value.
Overall I'm glad I picked it up and I might find when I do come to re-watch it that Hot Fuzz is one of those films where you benefit by knowing what will happen - knowing nods and winks (as recalled in flashback in the film itself) opening up the comedic angles earlier on than they do otherwise. But the experience didn't leave any lasting impression, any wow factor. It was an enjoyable film and that's all.