Despite the energy and vivacity of Wild Targetís ensemble cast, this
British remake of a French hitman farce misses the mark with
frustratingly obvious gags and relatively unexciting action, making it
hard for us to figure out exactly what they were aiming for. While the
plot seems straightforward and predictable enough, the film manages to
chaotically strew events and characters together in a fast-paced, clumsy
and unsurprising goose chase that ultimately fails to surprise, or at
least take us for an enjoyable ride.
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is an assassin on his last job. Having spent
his life carrying on a family reputation as an infallible professional
killer, with no friends except for his guns and his French language
tapes, Victor finds himself targeting an art thief (Emily Blunt) who not
only manages to be his complete opposite, but also suck him into
protecting her from other hired killers with the addition of a new
apprentice (Rupert Grint) they find in a car park. This odd trio must
then run for their lives as they become the targets of newly hired hit
men, and Maynardís own oppressive mother (Eileen Atkins).
Relying too much on the quirks of the characters, Wild Target fails to
be compelling. And considering the central characters are all running in
fear of their lives, a lack of compelling suspense is a bit of a
problem, even if the film is essentially a comedy. While the characters
and individual actors work well separately, their chemistry as a group
feels forced and doesnít seem to pull off the camaraderie that may have
been conceived in the original script Ė their outrageous situation and
dysfunctional teamwork not being pulled off by the Nighy-Blunt-Grint fix
up. As one goofy mistake leads to another, Wild Target packs in gags
that need impeccable comic timing in order to work, but executes them
with too much reliance on their tried-and-tested nature. Because of
this, Wild Target doesnít grab our attention with sharp and snappy
comedy that makes us feel compelled about what will happen to the
characters or how they will interact with each other. Instead, it drags
us along roads of carefully set up accidents that lose their sense of
immediacy and unpredictability through performances that donít gel as
well as they should.
Unfortunately, the special features donít include much excitement
either, consisting of rather bland interviews with each of the actors on
their characters and the relationships their characters have with other
characters. With each answer only lasting a couple of minutes, the
special features are missing the sense of fun you would expect from the
actors off-screen, denying us even potential laughs in relation to the
situations and friendships that were formed on the job.
While Wild Target looks like a promising comedy with such a trio of
interesting cast choices, the film disappoints largely in its execution.
With short-lived chase scenes and a few quickly stitched up resolutions
that never really see any development throughout the film, Wild Target
shoots blindly at physical gags and quirky impulsiveness, hoping to hit
something that will make the audience laugh.