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wild target
Click for full sized poster

Wild Target

Starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett, Eileen Atkins, Martin Freeman
Screenplay by Lucinda Coxon
Directed by Jonathan Lynn

IN SHORT: Murder is funny. Incredibly so. [Rated PG-13 for violence, some sexual content and brief strong language. 98 minutes]

Wild Target screened for us just as the end of year Awards lunacy unleashed itself on us critics. If we're a little short it's just 'cuz we're getting to the point on a lot of film in very little time.

Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is learning to speak French. He spends so much time in France, meeting and killing new and never to be intertesting people that the language is probably an interesting thing for a 55-years old single man to do. Other than fending off the homophobic accusations of his infirm mother (Eileen Atkins)

Then there is Rose (Emily Blunt), whose ride on the illegal side involves the theft and forgery of a Rembrandt classic and the bait and switch sale of said classic to a very rich man called "I'm not a gangster I'm in real estate" Ferguson (Rupert Everett). Rose manages a £900,000 swindle. When Ferguson discovers the scam he sends his bodyguards Mike (Gregor Fisher) and Barney after Rose to "handle" the situation. And so the paths of the uptight killer Victor and the sexy swindler Rose cross. In the middle of it all is a kid named Tony (Rupert Grint), who saves the pair from certain death and finds a new career as apprentice assassin. Tony also brings out some strange feeling in the 55 years old single man . . . but no more about that.

Sure, the story of Wild Target reads like a hardcore crime and revenge story. It is, in reality, so darn funny that a room full of hard core critics -- awards screenings are just beginning and we're all stressed out -- were doubled over with laughter.

Seriously. Ha Ha and Giggles and full out belly laughs all well paced across the course of a crime and vengeance story. For somewhere in the middle of everything we've explained, Victor was hired to kill Rose for the swindle on Ferguson. That the rest of the story goes wriggling all over England as our trio tries to avoid a second and more sadistic pro killer Hector Dixon (Martin Freeman), just adds to the joy of sitting through this film.,

On average, a first run movie ticket will run you Ten Bucks. Were Cranky able to set his own price to Wild Target, he would have paid . . .


This is a delightful film that only shows its British origins for about 2 seconds in a scene involving a traffic sign that distracted us for said seconds. The international traffic sign warns something about FORD -- but our characters are driving a mini-Cooper car. The bit is about a stream crossing and will probably be ignored by everyone but us. But it's two seconds that should have been removed for American release since it has no effect on the rest of the film. [says this card carrying Director's Guild member, since 1980 <g>]

amazon com link Click to buy films by Jonathan Lynn
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The Cranky Critic website is Copyright © 1995  -  2017  by Chuck Schwartz. Articles by Paul Fischer are Copyright © 1999 - 2006 Paul Fischer. All images, unless otherwise noted, are property of,©, ®, their respective studios and are used by permission. All Rights Reserved. Not to be used or copied for any commercial purpose. Academy Award(s) and Oscar®(s) are registered trademarks and service marks of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.