Wild Target
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43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
WILD TARGET (2009) is one of the most enjoyable, relaxing and hilarious films I have ever seen. The British have a way with this kind of black comedy that we have yet to perfect, though we try.

The legendary assassin Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy in yet another cool-as-a-cucumber role of a lifetime) is reaching a midlife crisis. He falls for his latest hit, young swindler Rose (Emily Blunt in a role that actually fits her well). As she throws him off his game initially, he begins to like her immensely.

A fateful encounter in a parking garage introduces them to each other and to Tony (a sweet Rupert Grint), a bisexual pothead garage attendant who saves first the life of Rose, then Victor. They flee together, and a sort of sweet madness ensues.

It is not what you'd expect, and were it not for occasional foul scenes (which we can bear with a guffaw) I'd recommend such caliber of comedy for children. Sadly, black comedy of this caliber is not for children's innocent eyes. But here I'll leave this fantastic film, for you to discover and judge.

The cast is rounded out by crooked art collector Ferguson (Rupert Everett, appearing apparently because he needs the work) and the immortal Aileen Atkins as Victor's former-assassin mother and first teacher. (In a bit of a snit, she excoriates Victor for his crisis: "A Beretta! The gun of princes! For your SEVENTH birthday!") Also moving to me was Victor's white cat Snowy, who has the most wonderful MEOW.

With all the great talent here and others whose names I'm too tired to mention, I have to say a word about Rupert Grint. Rupert's a handsome, rising star with a flair for sweetness, drama and comedic skills I have often compared to those of Buster Keaton. Sometimes I wonder if old Buster from Kansas and Rupert from Stevenage are somehow related.

Rupert is the busiest of the HARRY POTTER 'children', with two excellent films under his belt already (CHERRYBOMB and DRIVING LESSONS). This, his third major film with major work to show for it, is his third film off the POTTER reservation. Here's a toast: a long and successful career for Rupert!

And a long, cult-classic status for WILD TARGET ... one of the best films (for its genre) that I have ever seen.

WILD TARGET is an English remake of the French film "Cible émouvante" (1993) - which I am now anxious to see. I understand the great Jean Rochefort plays "Victor Meynard" in this original version.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on August 17, 2011
I came across this as a complete lark, but found it well-made, well-acted, and pretty funny. The premise is great (what if the best assassin fell in love with one of his targets), and the character development is great.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Bill Nighy has a following in my store no matter what the film's theme is, and in this case he plays his age and character beautifully.

The story follows an aging hit man revered as the best at what he does, but an assignment to snuff a young klepto/con-artist played adequately by Ms. Blunt goes awry and the fun begins. It is like a bumbling Stooges act for the middle of the film as he decides to protect her instead, while also apprenticing a hapless young man. Nighy's mom is a little over-the-top by Eileen Atkins who I last saw in the nice film Evening, and the remaining cast is average to overly cheesy. The comedy tried to be dark as the body count goes up, but Nighy carries this overall without letting it get too slapstick.

The Blu specs are solid as the picture is clear, so much so that the background failings can be obvious (can see the rain outside nearby windows when they are trying to make it look sunny, crew reflections, etc.) and the DTS is mixed nicely. The car chase scenes are where the channels get used the most and it surrounds you just right. Unfortunately though Fox once again dumps this BD with nothing extra. The "On Target with Emily Blunt" lasts a few minutes and is immediately forgettable. You really want to have there be a making of documentary or commentary as quite a few questions come up about the production (why he holds the gun in such an obscure way throughout the film, locations, etc). 3.5 for the film and .5 for the Blu specs. Region coded A with English language only and subs in same. A light comedy that does not take itself too seriously, enjoy.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on September 11, 2011
I haven't enjoyed a movie this much since who knows. It's quick, fresh, excellently written/acted/directed, and stars three of my favorite British actors (Nighy, Blunt, and Grint).

There are no outright jokes, but there doesn't need to be - the story itself is funny, and so are the characters. This flick doesn't need cheap one-liners to get laughs. You'll be giggling and snickering the whole way.

That being said, this is *dark humor*. Light-hearted dark humor, to be exact. It's unapologetic, doesn't take a moment to be serious, and certainly isn't meant to be any kind of morality tale. Check your scruples at the door if you want to be entertained. Be prepared to find constant kills, thievery, gay undertones, and cat murder, funny - because it is. Here.

Bottom line, if you can deal, it's an absolute MUST SEE. I can't wait to watch it a second time.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on February 11, 2011
AWESOME film. Loved every minute of it. But fair warning: If you don't find British humor funny - then this isn't for you.

This is UK dark comedy at its absolute warm-from-the-tap finest.

Would have never guessed Bill Nighy could be the lead actor - never. Especially after seeing him in the Underworld series. But wow - given the opportunity, the man has the cool styling and elegance of Cary Grant. Admittedly he's not the looker type, but he makes up for it in pure panache. Will never see him as a pure second player again. That Director Jonathan Lynn saw this is, in my opinion, a true stroke of brilliance.

Not being a Harry Potter fan, I have never seen any of the films. So this was my first exposure to Rupert Grint. This guy is hilarious! Played his role as the fumbling slacker turned apprentice assassin perfectly. Kid has some serious acting chops - I hope his career path follows a similar UK actor that I enjoy watching - Simon Pegg.

And another first for me - my first Emily Blunt film. Not only is she stunning - she's incredibly funny! A lethal combination - no pun intended. The world is her oyster and she certainly deserves it. Looking forward to more from this young actress.

Can't say enough good things about this film. The one single drawback - pet lovers be warned. (hands raised in defense)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
My wife and I have a running joke that there are only twenty working actors in the UK at any one time. It's not precisely true -- the real number is probably closer to thirty -- but we do seem to see a lot of small British movies, and we keep tripping over the same actors again and again. Remembering their names, though, can sometimes be more tricky.

So, as we were watching it, we were thinking of WILD TARGET as a movie in which the rockstar from Love Actually was a hit man, trying to kill The Young Victoria, while the red-headed kid from Harry Potter sort-of became his apprentice, and Arthur Dent was hired by Rupert Everett (we instantly remember him; dunno why) to kill the first hit man. Oh, and Judith Starkadder was the first hit man's very supportive mother.

As I've noted before, I am precisely the audience for comedies about hit men -- as previously proved by You Kill Me,The Matador, and Grosse Pointe Blank -- so I wanted to see WILD TARGET as soon as I knew it existed. And it does what a comedy about hit men has to: it immediately gets the audience on the side of Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) by immersing us in his world and seeing it through his eyes and his voice. So we want him to continue to succeed in his chosen career -- but that's a problem, since we also see young con artist Rose (Emily Blunt) finagle a complicated double-swap of a counterfeit Rembrandt to a not-quite-crimelord (Everett), and we'd prefer to see her succeed as well, or at least survive.

Unfortunately, they can't both succeed equally, since Everett's character hires Maynard to kill Rose, which he sets off to do in his usual professional manner. But her life is so chaotic and full of unexpected events that he can't quite do it, and, through the sort of unlikely series of events that movies like this are full of, Victor ends up on the run with both Rose and a young man named Tony (Rupert Grint), with another hit man named Dixon (Martin Freeman) after him and Rose. It all ends pretty much the way it should, and goes a lot of enjoyable places along the way.

WILD TARGET is fun and witty and entertaining, though there's something just slightly out-of-focus about it, particularly in Rose's characterization. (She takes risks reflexively, all of the time, just to do dangerous things, and there's no explanation or excuse or payoff for that -- she also asks every man she meets "how much do you weight," which equally leads nowhere.) But, for those of us who love comedies about hit men, it's a gem, and one easy to overlook.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on May 23, 2015
Bill Nighy has become my favorite British hitman, spy, intelligence analyst, and whatever role he's assigned. Credibility derives from talent, and Nighy provides entertainment whatever suit he wears. In Wild Target, a wonderful Birthday present from my beloved (from Amazon.com of course!), we enjoyed the loopy, seemingly plotless development of assassin who failed at his life's profession. Without Emily Blunt (and Nighy's assistance), the central character's wild flailings might have destroyed any substance in this delightful comedy. All others in this film were comparatively limited, stilted, and backdrop. The menacing assassins were pitiful foils; including their peculiar conclusions. What's not missing is the comedy; and the happenstance of the main actors clearly enjoying their craft with each other. I found the collection of the three central characters was unlikely: however, the comedy and good vibes came from their unique differences. By whatever means, from wherever you find it, Wild Target is a delightful action-comedy with warm feelings for those willing to forgo their rational needs. I highly recommend for fun-seekers!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 20, 2011
My husband and I just watched this tonight on TV and we couldn't stop laughing. And it's nice how it's not a dreadfully long movie, but quick and constantly funny.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
This is a humorous British story about an assassin and his elusive target. Bill Nighy plays the 55 year old Victor who lives at home with his mother. Being an assassin is a third generation occupation. Victor is "old school" in his job and his mother worries that he may become a homosexual. His hobbies include learning French, chess, and encapsulating his furniture in plastic.

Rose is a light fingered free spirit. She had a copy made of a Rembrandt, made a switch and double crossed a buyer. Victor is supposed to kill her, but after a few failed attempts because of her Inspector Clouseau ability to avoid a bullet, he has become an admirer of the girl and in a twist of fate becomes her protector with Ron Weasly as his apprentice.

While the story was humorous, it lacked a certain uniqueness. Emily Blunt was good, but I liked Rachel Weisz as a free spirit in the "Brothers Bloom" more.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on June 5, 2013
I never know what people want out of movie reviews on Amazon.

The image and sound quality are great. The movie is not that old so it looks great on blu-ray and I had no problems with playback.

If you enjoy quirky british humor than this is the movie for you. Go to YouTube and watch the trailer for it to get an idea of what the film is about but I can tell you it has a good story line and you get sucked into it so the movie doesn't seem that long. Without going into much detail I can tell you that I find this movie very funny and I enjoy the innocent humor in it. I can watch it with my mom and not only will she not be offended but she'll be in tears laughing.

If you are looking for a lighthearted british comedy give this one a shot.
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