Review: Wild Target

 

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What the fuck?

I tried to see Wild Target in the cinema but as a result of a cock-up my friend and I missed the screening. A couple of weeks later I thought I’d try again and catch it again. Surprisingly it wasn’t showing at the theatre. I say surprisingly as most films even British films don’t disappear after a few weeks out, even rubbish Brit-flicks have their stay of execution but this film disappeared completely, without a trace…

It’s a very decent film, perhaps it’s too much with the usual cartoon capery that seeps its way into British films. It features an unlikely romance, a dopey sidekick, incompetent bodyguards and villains who take glee in dishing out violence. The villains (Rupert Everett and Martin Freeman) are ruthless, spiteful and demeaning but it’s all done with its foot planted in farce.

Yes, it’s all too familiar and yet it’s an entertaining mix if completely forgettable, a silly by the numbers comedy that’s not demanding but through its uncomplicated direction, absurdity of the plot and its cast, there’s a lot to enjoy.

The cast understands the level of the material and in the case of Rupert Grint, he attempts to go full (or perhaps half) retarded with his dim-witted character. Think of the moment in the Half Blood Prince where he becomes infatuated after he swigs a bit of potion and imagine him throughout a film. A bit clueless and very daft.

Emily Blunt is alluring as a mischievous con artist who has men falling at her feet. She’s full of life and her comedic timing is spot on, though we’re not quite getting into slapstick territory here it definitely feels like a comedy of errors the British industry used to churn out.

The best performance given is Bill Nighy, who despite being caked under CGI in the Pirates sequels was still the best thing about those films. Here he plays an assassin who’s a recluse and uncomfortable around people. His character has never been seen by anyone who has employed him, he’s secretive in his dealings, is understated in his demeanour and most of all is implacable in his actions until Blunt’s character warms the cockles of his heart.

It’s at this moment where the film dives into convention and does little to subvert expectations. It finds a nice groove, content to move along and not do anything to remotely surprise you but still keeps you engaged. It may bore some but the silliness of the premise and characters was enough.

It won’t get much notice from anyone, in fact it’ll probably fade into obscurity but Wild Target is worth a look. It may not be better than the great British films of the 80s and 90s but some credit is due for at least aspiring to be as good.

6/10

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Posted on 03/11/2010, in Reviews and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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