Wild Target is a comedy directed by Jonathan Lynn with the all-star cast of Bill Nighy (Pirate Radio, Hot Fuzz), Emily Blunt (The Young Victoria, Sunshine Cleaning), Rupert Grint (Harry Potter, Cherry Bomb), Eileen Atkins (Cold Mountain, What a Girl Wants), Martin Freeman (Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, Love Actually), and Rupert Everett (My Best Friend’s Wedding, Stardust).
The film is based on the 1993 French film Cible Emouvante and is about Victor (Bill Nighy) who’s a solitary assassin in his early fifties working in London. He’s hired to kill a thief, Rose (Emily Blunt), but he finds her intriguing, so he spares her life and along the way unexpectedly gains a young apprentice, Tony (Rupert Grint). Rose believes Victor is a private detective, so she hires him to protect her for a week, and they bring Tony along as well. All the while they are trying to run from Victor’s unhappy client, Ferguson (Rupert Everett), and his newly hired assassin, Dixon (Martin Freeman). Hilarity ensues as Victor tries to cope with his new companions and both Rose and Tony try to understand Victor and his interesting methods.
The film focuses on the shenanigans Victor and company get up to while on the run. They head to Victor’s home in the British countryside and begin to form a bond with each other, almost a family connection, with Victor and Rose as the parents and Tony as the loveable child. All of the characters are quirky and slightly odd. Victor seems to only have his mother (Eileen Atkins) for company (and she’s urging him to start a family); Rose is a beautiful thief who’s a bit immature and very wild and full of reckless abandonment; Tony is young and naive but eager to learn.
Veteran Bill Nighy is excellent at playing the respectable but eccentric assassin; he easily steps into the role. Emily Blunt is gorgeous and hilarious as Rose; her personality shines through, giving the character an adorable and spunky side. Rupert Grint is fantastic as Tony, even though he does seem to give us the same sometimes dumb-founded, loveable, side-kick character he portrays in the Harry Potter films, and he is good at it. Both Rupert Everett and Martin Freeman are classy and make for fabulous villain characters.
The plot has some holes and is sometimes ridiculous and very odd. But, it is comical and endearing in these oddities. It was filmed in 2008 but due to uncontrollable forces wasn’t able to be released until this year. Thankfully, it was worth the wait.
It’s only in limited release currently, but if the buzz around this film continues to grow, it will be able to been seen in more theatres across North America. It’s definitely a unique concept, even though it’s a remake.