Director: Jonathan Lynn,
Writer: Lucinda Coxon
Running time: 98 minutes
Studio: Entertainment in Video
No of discs: 1
Price: From £9.98-£13.99
Release Date: October 11 2010
Starring: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett, Martin Freeman, Eileen Atkins
The latest British comedy offering from Jonathan Lynn, the Director of The Whole Nine Yards, My Cousin Vinny and Nuns On The Run, is a remake of a 90s’ French flick and stars some of our favourite Brits to combine madcap farce with unexpected romance.
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is a 54 year-old professional killer, reared for the job, as a baby with a kitsch wooden gun mobile hanging above his cot and given a Beretta for his 7th Birthday, “the pistol of princes”. As an adult with a dodgy moustache he lives so safely “it’s dangerous”, choosing a solitary life where he eats banquet meals alone surrounded by vacuum packed furniture. His proud mother (Eileen Atkins) gives him an album of cuttings of all of his jobs and is concerned no-one will keep up the family business.
Queue free-spirited, thief and con-artist, Rose (Emily Blunt), Victor’s next assignment, a Wild Target. After a scam involving a ridiculous blonde wig, Rupert Everett and a Rembrandt painting backfires, Rose has several contracts out on her life. The best in his trade, Victor jeopardises his whole way of life after becoming completely enchanted by her bohemian blasé existence when tailing her.
Complete opposites, Victor and Rose form an unlikely bond based on their differences. Rose charms Victor into protecting her from the other hired assassins with her eccentricities and flattery – the fact she has one tooth too many , “What do you weigh” being her pulling line and her comparing him to “a mighty ancient oak”. Equally, Victor’s own peculiarities slowly begin to affect Rose – his acupuncture qualification and watch with a garotte cheese wire pull-out.
As their relationship blossoms, Rupert Grint (Harry Potter) makes an appearance as bumbling natural killer, Tony, looking less ginger: “I didn’t mean to hurt you – it was just good luck.” Present at the first “shoot-out”, Tony joins the duo to form a trio of bickering children and lands a six week hit-man apprenticeship, including a travel card for the Greater London area.
Baddie, Ferguson (Rupert Everett), protects himself with money, hiring others to do his dirty work – he wants to turn his assistant’s life support machine off but won’t because he’s paying him until the end of the month. Martin Freeman is an unmemorable Dixon, Victor’s nemesis and short-lived rival.
Wild Target is a zany comedy that occasionally successfully pokes fun at traditional hit-man gangster heist movies – its literal interpretation of “half now, half later” and the comic timing of the music accompanying Victor’s first appearance interspersed with the amusing addition of a vocal parrot and French language tape. Character relationships are as convincing as the gags but with its heart in the right place and a fair dollop of English charm, Wild Target raises enough laughs.