When he was transferred from the mean London streets to the seemingly quiet hamlet of Sanford, police officer Nicholas Angel (Simon Pegg) thought he was doomed to a life of quiet drudgery. However, that would not have made a particularly interesting movie. Instead, we got Hot Fuzz (which just celebrated its 10th anniversary), a hilarious and bloody film written by Pegg and director Edgar Wright (the second of their Three Flavours Cornetto Trilogy) about the dark underbelly of a particularly deranged small town. And as Angel transitions from strictly by the book cop to horseback riding badass, one thing remains the same: there’s no better man to lay down the law.
Now, you probably aren’t dealing with an old school cult devoted to The Greater Good and you’ll almost certainly never find yourself possessed with the need to mount a horse and ride into town like the ultimate badass, but from time to time we all stumble into a moment where we need to step up and assert a little authority. And because of that need, it might be helpful for you to read and maybe even memorize these Nicholas Angel quotes, because, in addition to being the real top cop who can’t be stopped, he’s the ultimate role model when it comes to laying down the law.
“Police work is not about proper action. Or sh*t!”
At any job you’re in, you’re bound to be faced with jerks that don’t take things as seriously as you do. Part of what you can do as a leader is inspire others to follow in your neatly polished footsteps. For every Nicholas Angel, there is a Danny Butterman (Nick Frost), the lovable slob who just isn’t great at their job. However, just like Angel got Danny to be a more effective officer of the law, a little inspiration from you being the best can help the office schlub find some everyday greatness within themselves.
“You’re a doctor. Deal with it.”
You don’t always have to be “on,” but a few well-deployed comebacks are always a good way to come out on top. Just like Angel embraced his inner action star, a quip for every situation is a good way to fool people into believing you have the charisma of a natural leader. Who wouldn’t want to live their life like a ’90s action star anyway? Sure, you might alienate a few people who just don’t get your comedy, but you were never going to win them over anyway.
“Well, there was the bit that you missed where I distracted him with the cuddly monkey then I said ‘play time’s over’ and I hit him in the head with the peace lily.”
Sharing your victories with your peers is a critical part of maintaining the aura of leadership. You don’t want your best work to go unnoticed, now do you?
Danny’s general state of fanboying over Angel’s police antics is a good boost for his ego and, ultimately, it helps to push Nicholas into his bit of heroism, so don’t let your moments of glory happen without an audience. You don’t want to be forgotten in the hubbub.
“I may not be a man of God, Reverend, but I know right and I know wrong, and I have the good grace to know which is which.”
A finely tuned moral compass is essential to ensuring that you make the right choices. He can crack dry jokes and hop fences all he likes, but what makes Nicholas Angel a hero is his strong understanding of the law and what’s right. Easy-to-read lines of black and white just aren’t aren’t a realistic approach to modern morality, so you’ve got to stick to your guns and explore those moral grays. Even so, murdering people? Always going to be wrong, even when garden festivals are on the line.
“What’s wrong, Danny? Never taken a shortcut before?”
If you’re going to be truly effective, though, you have to inspire those around you. If you never branch out and take a risk (like pre-Sanford Angel), you’re going to find yourself stuck. However, if you put yourself out there and leap those fences, both literal and metaphorical, you have a better shot at winning the respect of your peers. Once you have that, they’ll follow you into battle and over the fence.
Or, at least, through it.
“Pack it in, Frank. You daft bastard!”
When you see someone you respect doing the wrong thing, that’s an even more painful sight than when you observe someone who is a constant screw up. But while your heart might break a bit, you’ve still got to stick to your code. If Angel can do the right thing when his boss Frank Butterman (Jim Broadbent) reveals that he too was in on the town elders’ murder pact, you can stand up for what’s right in your day to day life. No one ever said that being a moral leader and laying down th law was going to be easy.
“Sh*t just got real!”
Sh*t did, indeed, get real. And if it gets real all over your own life, what are you going to do about it? You’re going to kick ass and take names, partner. Because that’s the only way you know how to live. You may have loosened up your methods a little bit (horses, riot gear, and toothpicks aren’t exactly standard issue, are they?), but you’re still dedicated in your single-minded pursuit of justice. No one should live outside the law — even for The Greater Good — so embrace your inner Angel and use your leadership skills only for good. You’ve got to earn that Cornetto.