Timothy Dalton did not receive an Oscar nomination for portraying Simon Skinner in Hot Fuzz.
The first indication that there might be something amiss is probably that the local super marker is run by Timothy Dalton, none other than the man whose portrayal of James Bond was unfortunately a bit ahead of the time. It does not help that Simon Skinner first introduces himself to Nicholas Angel as "a slasher who must be stopped" well he only meant of prices. Well you know with that sort of introduction you just might he's the villain, well Dalton does not allow one to have any misconceptions here, he's the villain, there might as a well be neon lights above his head indicating his villainy, even though it's a mystery of sorts, he's the villain, well just like in any good cliched action movie you don't have to look twice, he's the villain, you got that yet, well take a note of it. You might say this is an obvious performance, well you'd be right, but if you were to think that means it is a bad performance well you'd be wrong dead wrong (make sure to imagine dead wrong as though Timothy Dalton in this very performance were saying it though, that way you'll better understand my intent).
Now being a comedy that might be an excuse to give a goofy performance where the villain is just sort of wacky, well that's not the case for Dalton, well I suppose it does depend on your definition of goofy and wacky though. Anyways Dalton's masterstroke of his performance is not to really play the part as though he is a character in a comedy. No Dalton takes the approach of giving a performance fitting for the sort of cliched action movie Hot Fuzz is lampooning, but Dalton up its up a notch, an extra notch. He takes obvious villainy to a whole new level as every word he speaks seems to have a menacing undercurrent within it, and well let's see how's best to describe it, well it is hilarious. Dalton's evil turn is absurdly funny though as, even before anything has gone down or even there's any reason to suspect his character of anything yet, he's making you suspect him through the absurd statements he makes, such as bashing someone's head in to know their secrets, or having customers, who deserted his store, having their heads sliced off for their betrayal. The lines themselves are good, but it is Dalton who makes them great through his absolutely diabolical delivery.
Dalton is amazing in this role because of just how much conviction he brings to the part. He never winks once, although he does look directly into the camera once but then again he makes it all part of the grand form of evil that Dalton makes in the character of Simon Skinner. Dalton's a very intense actor when he wants to be and its pure comic gold to see him brings all of that to this character. There's something far too amusing about the fact that Dalton does not bring a hint of subtly to Skinner, to make his intentions about a clear as an intention can be. This alone might not have been that funny, but the dramatic devotion Dalton has in the role to go as far as he does is incredible. It's not just in his absurdly grim delivery though, but everything about the man Dalton takes to the fullest form of an action movie villain. The physical style he takes in the part is ingenious as simply the way he stands and moves around any given scene is deliciously devious. I particularly love one moment where he is advertising a game "splat the rat", and it is all too clear Skinner is not talking about the game. He even gets to have his evil applause to "congratulate" Angel's detective skills, and Dalton does not waste it. Then to top it all off is that smile of his, which is pure perfection as it is about as sinister of grin as one can form. The way relishes finding a worthy opponent, who is tenacious enough to withstand his villainy, is simply marvelous. I have to admit just about every moment of Dalton's performance here causes to be burst out laughing in his creation of the most conspicuous villain who ever existed, the best part is Dalton never seems like he's trying to be funny, so to speak, he just is. It's safe to say I love every moment of this performance. Yes this is a one note performance but oh what a grand and glorious note it is.