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  • 12A
  • Black Comedy, Comedy
  • 2010

Wild Target

Wild Target

Synopsis

Bill Nighy plays a hitman who unwillingly saves the life of Emily Blunt's art thief in this Brit flick comedy crime caper

About

Wild Target is a remake of a French farce, and it shows. Bill Nighy plays Victor Maynard, a man at the absolute peak of his profession, whose services command the top fees in his field. His field happens to be assassination, a line of work he inherited from his father, but though he's successful and fulfilled by his career, something is missing in his starched, emotionally airless existence. Luckily, his ordered life is on a collision course with Emily Blunt's character Rose, a wacky free spirit and kleptomaniac. Could she be destined to help him turn that frown upside down? Stop me if you've heard this one before.

Completing the menage is rogue ingredient Tony (Rupert Grint), a hapless apprentice and de facto son to Victor. His character is less predictable than the rest of the film, and he has a strange moment of confused bath tub chemistry with one character that is much more believable than Victor and Rose's central romance. Once past, the scene is never referred to again, which is a shame because it could have made for a genuinely quirky (as opposed to pre-packaged, sanitised quirky) romance.

The plot revolves around an audacious art theft and its consequences, with Rupert Everett hamming beautifully as the arch villain of the piece; it's a shame he's neutralised as a threat relatively early on in a script that gets a little bogged down in psychoanalysing its characters. Wild Target's ingredients are all amiable enough, but it doesn't quite gel, with the contrived eccentricities of the Rose character particularly grating.

Cast & Connections

  • Actor: Bill Nighy, Martin Freeman, Rupert Everett, Rupert Grint, Emily Blunt
  • Director: Jonathan Lynn
  • Screen Writer: Lucinda Coxon

In a nutshell

Comfortably quirky with flashes of rather mannered black humour, the likeability of the cast keeps this slight contraption rattling along divertingly enough.

by Catherine Bray

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