Friday, 28 August 2015

No.235 : Wild Target

Wild Target at the IMDb

Some people say British comedies are all the same predictable rubbish and feature the same old faces. Well if it’s ‘Wild Target’ they are commenting upon it’d be had to argue with them!

Bill Nighy plays a hit man with mother and emotional issues. He’s had a long and successful career as an assassin, which he puts down to meticulous planning and not getting emotionally involved. We can see he’s hurting as he learns French from a tape and has dinner on his own, but surely nothing can break his granite like façade?

Meanwhile free spirited Emily Blunt is organising an art scam. She has hooked poor sucker Rory Kinnear to paint her an exact copy of an old master which she will then sell to Rupert Everett having shown him the original (Rory works at the National Gallery) before switching to the fake. The plan goes well and she makes £900k but the scheme falls apart when the paint is discovered to still be wet - art forgery mistake number one, you’d think!

Anyway Rupert hires Bill to kill Emily and after following her about town for a day Bill starts to take a shine to the thieving harlot. He is however about to shoot her when a rival hit man, Rab C Nesbitt, shows up and Bill has to decide to take the contract or the girl. Things are further complicated when Ron Weasley shows up and Bill, Ron and Emily have to escape together.

The remainder of the film is more or less padding as the three unlikely bedfellows get to know each other and themselves before evil hit man, Tim from the Office, tracks them down for a final showdown.

I don’t think I cracked a smile once during this alleged comedy. I normally quite like Bill Nighy but his character here was such a cliché it was hard to care. The meticulous hit man undone by a target plot is a lot older than Bill and frankly he is getting on a bit for his romance with Emily to be believable or even seemly. She is meant to come across as a free spirited rock chick but only manages ‘shallow thieving bint who gets lots of folk killed’.

Ron’s part is pretty superfluous and although he’s meant to be the son Bill never had he’s more like the guy who can’t act who’ll bring in the Harry Potter audience. Things should have been improved by adding Tim from ‘The Office’ to the mix but he lacked the menace his character was supposed to exclude and his comedy dentures were a mistake.

The climax, which has the most blatant foreshadowing I can remember (“be careful with that gun it explodes when fired”), was terrible but at least welcome as it signalled the film was nearly done.

I wasn’t bothered by the film’s shaky moral compass, only by it’s dearth of laughs and predictable plot.

Best Bit : Bill listens to his radio set
‘W’ Score : 9/23

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