Starring: Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett
Director: Jonathan Lymm
It’s disappointing how much British films get pushed around, even here on their home turf.
After cinemas seemed to take Noel Clarke’s 4,3,2,1 as a command of how many times to play it before giving up, it’s good to see that at least Wild Target is, for now, getting a good swing at the multiplexes.
Wild Target is something strange too. A British comedy not involving one of Danny Dyer, Simon Pegg or Richard Curtis (the man behind Notting Hill, Love Actually etc)? Sound the alarms.
Based off a French film from the mid 90s, Wild Target sees Victor Maynard (Nighy), an ageing hitman, hired to kill Rose (Blunt), a beautiful con-woman who’s just fooled an ‘estate agent’ out of £900 and a very valuable painting.
Victor can’t go through with the hit though and ends up, grudgingly, protecting Rose as well as taking on a homeless youngster as his apprentice (Grint).
This may all sound a little dark, and this is where the film shines its brightest. The opening passage is simply genius, with pitch black subjects made wonderfully light and laughable in a decidedly classical way with great snappy dialogue.
This is all sewn together by brilliant turns from nearly everyone involved, lead by the always fantastic Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt, who is very quickly turning into one of the leading female leads out there.
Despite their great chemistry on screen, it’s Rupert Everett that steals the show as the ‘estate agent’, taking off with every scene that he’s in. Which is far too few.
Wild Target flatters to deceive though. While the first 30 to 45 minutes are some of the funniest put on screen all year, the second half of Wild Target never lives up to the promise.
This is probably due to a real need of a cut-throat editor. The middle of this film completely drifts and looses its focus and direction, while the end just seems to peter out, although at least brings some kind of pace back to the film.
The film’s decision to include a completely unneeded scene of Rupert Grint having a bath interrupted (not for the first time) and some very weird music decisions make Wild Target highly frustrating.
Despite all this, the first half of the film is defiantly worth the fluff in the middle and even then, just let the cracking performances by Nighy, Blunt and the criminally underused Rupert Everett draw you in.
Go on, support the local film industry and make this, not Killers, your assassin comedy of the summer.
FemaleFirst Cameron Smith