Festivals & Awards, Reviews, Theatrical Reviews, TVIFF 2011 — September 15, 2011 at 7:52 pm

TVIFF REVIEW: WILD TARGET

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Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Everett, Martin Freeman and RON WEASLEY??? I’m in! More on Mr. Weasley in a moment. First, let’s get into what this film is about. Here’s the festival breakdown on this one:

WILD TARGET – England/USA, 2010, 98 min.
Victor Maynard is a middle-aged, solitary assassin, who lives to please his formidable mother, despite his own peerless reputation for lethal efficiency. His professional routine is interrupted when he finds himself drawn to one of his intended victims, Rose. He spares her life, unexpectedly acquiring in the process a young apprentice, Tony. Believing Victor to be a private detective, his two new companions tag along, while he attempts to thwart the murderous attentions of his unhappy client.

This film starts with Bill Nighy walking into a building talking to himself. The camera holds on the door. Seconds later, a body falls from above… dead on the concrete. Bill Nighy reappears, talking to himself still, steps over the body and walks away. This sort of humor sets the tone for the entire film.

The film itself is a bit of a tired premise. A hitman with no real life, aside from a relationship with an overbearing mother (who knows and encourages his professional deeds). He lives alone in a house where all the furniture is covered in plastic. His only real enjoyment appears to be eating a gourmet dinner and killing people. That is, until he’s dispatched to kill a small time thief, played by Blunt, who wins him over with her quirk (there’s that word again). Nighy quickly turns from her hunter to her protector and she even becomes a love interest… something that is still weird even in a post-As Good As it Gets world.

The cast is very well put together. Blunt is great as the girl without a care in the world who plays everything loose and dangerous. Nighy is just great in everything. It was great to see Rupert Everett again (who I’m now convinced would’ve made a great James Bond) as the gangster Blunt screws over in a deal for some forged art. And then there’s Weasley…

Rupert Grint was actually really good in this film playing the kid who gets wrapped up, inadvertently, in the adventure and whom Nighy takes under his wing as his apprentice/successor. The amazing part was I never once thought about Harry Potter during the film which is more than I can say for anything Daniel Radcliffe has ever been in. Leaving me to believe that this kid might have a career after Potter after all! Don’t get me wrong… he wasn’t amazing but he did a solid job.

On a sidenote, the thing that stuck out to me, and this is admittedly strange, is that Martin Freeman was in the film with Blunt. Reason being that Freeman played the same part John Krasinski played on the BBC version of The Office. Krasinski being Blunt’s husband in real life, probably married around the time this was shot, I just kept thinking about that whole discussion taking place on set. But I digress….

The film itself was pretty damn good and I would highly recommend it. I don’t know if it’s a completely appropriate comparison, or if the hitman thing is making it stick out my brain, but the film reminded me alot of In Bruges. The tone was very similar. I don’t know if it’s quite that good but I’m certainly going to go pick up the Blu-Ray!

♥♥♥♥

My only problem with the film? The horribly generic title for what is a really fun, smart and entertaining movie!

You can view the film’s website by clicking here!!!

8 Comments

  • I saw this earlier this year after it hit DVD. It was pretty decent. And yeah, Grint was really good in it. You should see “Driving Lessons,” as well! (I know Jason and Nolahn love that movie…)

  • I’ll be honest, this struck my fancy when I noticed that it’s available on Netflix Instant– I love the entire cast, so it should be something of a slam-dunk to see them all in a lonely hitman flick. But I’d never heard of it ’til seeing it up on Netflix’s website, and that made me wary.

    This review’s turned me around. I’ll check it out.

    • To be honest, I had never heard of it either and, honestly, have no idea why it screened considering you can find it on DVD. Maybe it was an early submission… who knows. But I dug the hell out of it. If you do watch, let me know what you think. I can’t believe it didn’t get more press. The film is great and the cast is fucking unbelievable!

  • It was on for a week at the cinema then disappeared without a trace so it passed me by. I have it on my Love Film list so will see it sometime. I did see the French original years ago but think the comedy dot lost in translation.

    By the way Kai, love that you are doing reviews.

    • haha… THANKS, Andy! It’s new and scary territory. I hope mine hold up against these other guys who do it all the time! :)

      • I think you are but what do I know?

        As for the James Bond thing, I think Rupert Everett was suggested at the time both Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan got the gig. All I have to say on the subject: Michael Fassbender for Bond

  • So you saw it…cool.

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