We Bought a Zoo
A widowed father played by Matt Damon moves to the South Californian country and purchases a zoo with his family
On Film4: 31 Aug 6:25PM
Bill Nighy plays a hitman who unwillingly saves the life of Emily Blunt's art thief in this Brit flick comedy crime caper
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.
Comfortably quirky with flashes of rather mannered black humour, the likeability of the cast keeps this slight contraption rattling along divertingly enough.
Jack Reynor is Richard, a star athlete who has just left secondary school when a drunken encounter threatens to ruin his future. Directed by Lenny Abrahamson, What Richard Did marks Reynor as an extraordinary new talent as a young man who quickly becomes
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