Wild Target (Blu-ray)
Judging from the title and cover, WILD TARGET struck me as a lame kid’s movie. Surprisingly this PG-13 film is actually a dark comedy using murder as its main catalyst that is not recommended for children. Although better than I expected with shockingly funny and original moments, the film falls into predictable traps with the majority of the plot becoming generic and lame.
Considered the best professional assassin in existence, Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) has his first trip up when his mark is a beautiful thief named Rose (Emily Blunt). Unable to finish the job he finds himself defending her from the very criminals who hired him. While saving her, Tony (Rupert Grint), an unexpected young wanderer joins the two on the run as a clumsy apprentice. With the second best hitman (Martin Freeman) on their trail and against Maynard’s overly involved mother’s warnings, Maynard begins to care for the two as they disrupt his orderly and proper life.
In an opening scene, Maynard kills a man. The victim’s parrot is able to say, “Victor Maynard,” identifying him as the killer. As he holds the gun up to the bird’s head, it spouts out “I love you.” Maynard has a change of heart, saving the bird as gift to his mother. This is a nice set up that would lead one to believe that they will be watching a funny original story develop. Unfortunately, albeit very funny, this joke is literally discarded quickly. This also sets up the trap the film continually falls into as it replaces funny originality with bland montages and slapstick car chases scored to wacky poor-mans almost Benny Hill rip-off type music (The actual Benny Hill theme would have been funny).
Like most British films with an entire British cast the language can be a bit crude but it’s all done with a humorous wink. The entire cast does a fine job with the material given to them. Bill Nighy plays his far too serious killer with straight faced precision while Emily Blunt is sexier than ever as a carefree, impressively talented thief, foolishly oblivious to her danger. Rupert Grint plays a non-magical form of his Ron Weasley character but still manages to pull off some of the funnier moments on screen. In fact, everyone does an excellent job with their actions and reactions providing all the humor over the simple and boring dialogue. It’s a huge testament to the actors for finding these moments in the material and making the audience laugh. Rupert Everett (where has he been?) and Gregor Fisher are very funny as the criminals after Blunt, however their parts are cut far too early missing many more comedic opportunities.
People being murdered or wounded wouldn’t be a likely choice to bring a chuckle, but the dark subject matter is the source for most of the humor. With a few really funny moments and ideas, WILD TARGET is still too light-hearted and silly for this black comedy to ever escape the cheese filled box the filmmakers surrounded it in. So close to being worth a viewing, other than some good performances, I recommend watching the first thirty minutes then calling it quits which is what the filmmakers seemed to have done during the process.
Video: (Widescreen 2.35:1) A fairly clean picture.
Audio: (5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio) The sound is decent filled with an unfitting soundtrack.
On Target With Emily Blunt (3.33): The actress gives a little rundown of the characters and storyline.