This film could have been titled “There Will Be Beef.”
"Fuzz," which is one of the nicest cops ‘n’ crooks movies in a long time, isn’t at all the kind of movie I expected. I was put off by the ad, I guess. When you get all kinds of cartoon characters bursting out of the page at you with guns blazing and skirts flying in the wind, somehow you instinctively know that the movie they’re in will be cheerless and dumb.
Ads like that try too hard. All that was missing from the "Fuzz" ad was an exploding helicopter in the background. To make up for it, however, there was a caricature of Burt Reynolds in the foreground, stretched on his side in the most famous pose since Venus emerged from the sea.
So I went expecting the worst, and in under 15 minutes I found myself won over by "Fuzz." It’s an offbeat, funny, quietly cheerful movie in which Ed McBain’s 87th Precinct is finally brought to life. Several movies have been based on McBain’s 87th Precinct novels, but never one in which the squad room was explored so lovingly by the camera, and the detectives were made so human. Maybe moving the 87th Precinct to Boston helped.
There are several plots, which all take place at the same time, and that is all right because things are always happening simultaneously in a police station. Let’s see. A gang of mad bombers led by the Deaf Man (Yul Brynner) is blowing up city officials as part of an extortion plot. A rapist is loose in the park. Some punk kids are setting drunken bums on fire. There are various murders, homicides, fratricides, and complaints that someone is dumping garbage into the front seats of cars. Also, the squad room is being painted apple green by two wisecracking jerks from the Department of Maintenance.