Wild Target (M)

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The ViewAuckland Review

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Review byMatthew Turner21/06/2010

One out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Badly written, poorly directed and painfully laugh-free comedy that even a smouldering performance from Emily Blunt can't save.

What's it all about?
Directed by Jonathan Lynn, Wild Target is a remake of the 1993 French film and stars Bill Nighy as Victor, an uptight, middle-aged and ruthlessly efficient hitman who inherited the job from his late father and is being pressured by his mother (Eileen Atkins) to provide an heir to carry on the family business. Things take an unexpected turn when he takes a shine to his latest victim, con artist Rose (Emily Blunt), who's fallen foul of art-loving gangster Ferguson (Rupert Everett) with her latest scam.

During a car park shoot-out, Victor and Rose somehow pick up feckless drifter Tony (Rupert Grifter), whose gangster-dispatching skills lead Victor to think that he might have found his new protege. The three promptly hole up in Victor's family home in the country, unaware that Ferguson has placed a vicious rival hitman (Martin Freeman) on their trail.

The Good
Blunt delivers her sexiest screen performance to date, but can't quite save the film from one star ignominy. There is, to be fair, a particularly lovely scene where she rides her bike through the National Gallery but unfortunately this happens in the first five minutes and it's all downhill from there.

The Bad
The film's biggest problem is its atrocious script. The tone is all over the place, lurching from tedious comedy to unconvincing romance to not-very-good thriller and never hitting any of its decidedly non-wild targets. In addition, the plot is practically non-existent, Grint's character is almost entirely superfluous (the script bottles out of having Nighy's character have a crush on him, though he does at least consider it) and the characters behave inconsistently from scene to scene – for example, Rose and Victor initially have a rather sweet father-daughter relationship (she says as much), but one foot massage later and she's madly in love with him, despite their total lack of chemistry. And, really, who wants to see Bill Nighy kissing Emily Blunt? Exactly.

On top of that, none of the jokes work and Martin Freeman is badly miscast - you'd think casting Freeman as a vicious killer would be played for laughs, but no.

Worth seeing?
Wild Target is a poorly directed, badly written comedy thriller that wastes a talented cast and fails to provide anything resembling laughs or thrills.

Film Trailer

Wild Target (M)
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Content updated: 19/02/2020 07:25

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