Wild Target (2010)

Untitled-1Does our idea of the perfect assassin have to be like Jason Bourne: ruthless, precise, cold? Can’t he just be a regular man who does regular things, like having a meal by himself, or tending to his garden? Can he not have a family? And can he not have a heart that’s capable of growing warm? Well, Wild Target seems to think that he can, but having such human qualities comes at a price: he’s no longer the killing machine he should be.

Bill Nighy plays Victor Maynard, the assassin from a family of assassins. His father bought his first gun, and his mother now constantly reminds him to be the best killer he can be (she’s also concerned that being a cold blooded killer has distorted his sexual direction, and that he might have homosexual tendencies). Victor has OCD; he keeps the furniture in his house wrapped in plastic, and he must have the salt and wine placed in the middle of the dining table when having meals (among other things).

He’s contracted by Ferguson (Rupert Everett) to kill Rose (Emily Blunt), a crooked art dealer who sells fakes. Through a series of events, he ends up falling in love with Rose instead, and takes on an apprentice, Tony (Rupert Grint). Because of this, Ferguson hires a second assassin, Dixon (Martin Freeman), to finish the job.

Wild Target is only good on one level: its lack of seriousness. It allows you to forgive many of its shortcomings, and for me, actually made me enjoy it. It’s by no means a good movie; its story is cheap, half-baked, and un-engaging; its characters seem more like caricatures than anything else; and everything just seems really flat. But when you have big names carrying a bad movie, it suddenly becomes bearable. Bill Nighy and Martin Freeman in particular are great to watch, and Emily Blunt, though not exactly a character I’d like to hang out with, is charmingly sexy. And does Rupert Grint really matter?

Best Moment | Victor trying to catch the car keys from Rose.

Worst Moment | Tony “practicing” martial arts with a sword in Victor’s garden.

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