Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

Victor May-Nard… I loved the way they said ‘May-nard’ in this movie as opposed to just the ho-hum pronunciation of Maynard, but Victor Maynard as delightfully played by actor Bill Nighy in this wacky British crime comedy ‘Wild Target’, is a man that loves his mum (Eileen Atkins). But then who doesn’t love their mum considering mothers are almost all universally awesome? Victor’s mum is also very proud of her son considering that he is at the very top of his profession and as such, with his fifty fifth birthday just days away, she has compiled a scrapbook of her baby boy’s accomplishments. Of course her baby boy is a professional killer but nonetheless she is still proud of him. But mother does have her concerns. Her son is getting on in years and the single man doesn’t seem to have any prospects in carrying on the family name. In fact she is a little concerned that Victor might not even like girls though Victor assures her that this isn’t the case.

Moving along Victor gets the call for another job. This job being the elimination of Rose (Emily Blunt), a pathological con lady who has just hoodwinked erudite mobster Mr. Ferguson (Rupert Everett) out of a million pounds. The job seems simple enough considering Rose, not exactly the shyest girl in town, is all out in the open stealing stuff as she goes along but following Rose around London, a woman of suspect moral nature to be certain, has had a profound effect on Victor. In fact when the time comes to finally kill her, he ends up saving her. As well saving a stoner named Tony (Rupert Grint).

Now through wacky circumstance Rose has hired the man who has just saved her, the man who she does not know has been hired to kill her, to act as her bodyguard. With Tony the Stoner serving as Victor’s apprentice in training. Wacky!

Some mayhem, a few shenanigans, a touch of chaos and a healthy amount of zaniness will ensue that will eventually land our trio of bickering heroes at Victor’s country chateau where all of the furniture is covered in plastic. But something is going on deep inside of Victor which he simply cannot understand. Perhaps it’s the obnoxious, loud-

mouthed, out of control but admittedly drop dead gorgeous con lady that has Victor out sorts. Or maybe Victor is gay, as his mum suspects. Regardless Mr. Ferguson has employed a new set of killers to finish what Victor started and take out Victor in the process as a bonus. Guess what happens next? If you guessed wacky zaniness, you would be correct!

Let me tell you what I really liked about Jonathan Lynn’s film ‘Wild Target’. For starters we sure do enjoy watching Bill Nighy work. Yeah Mr. Nighy’s acting style may consist of applying subtle changes to essentially the same character, that character being aloof socially challenged older British dudes, but man does he do it well. Another thing we really liked about ‘Wild Target’ is watching Emily Blunt exist. No need to run out and alert the New York Times about this but Emily Blunt is pretty damned good looking and if Jonathan Lynn did one thing right in this film is was photographing the sleepy blue eyes of his beautiful star. Personally it wouldn’t hurt our feelings if Emily were to find another ten pounds somewhere… maybe fifteen… But she sure is purdy. Another cat I talked to told me he was really excited about this movie because he wanted to see what Rupert Grint could do outside of a Harry Potter movie. Note that I, at least to this date, have yet to see a single Harry Potter movie but I do hope that Mr. Grint gave that young man whatever it was he was looking for.

But as far the movie ‘Wild Target’ itself goes, well… perhaps it was just a little too wacky for my tastes. The movie certainly has its moments of genuine comedy and Lord knows I love me a wacky comedy but even I have limits to the amount of predictable zaniness that I can stomach at any given moment. However I do imagine the immense levels of zaniness was necessary to sort of justify the dizzying levels of ridiculousness in the world this movie exists in. For starters, even though we liked both Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in this movie, this relationship they were supposed to be having in this movie probably only seems plausible in a world filled with zaniness. In fact the Victor / Tony pairing, gay as that may be, felt like it made more sense. We are told that Victor’s mum is ‘infirmed’. We should all be as mobile and as spry as Victor’s infirmed mother. In a wacky world police do not exist. In a wacky world you can walk down busy streets with your silencer out and shoot people and nobody pays you any never-mind. In a wacky world the solid construction of a Mini-Cooper and a Sherman Tank are strangely similar.

There’s a whole lot more wacky improbabilities in ‘Wild Target’ but it not like this movie is proclaiming to be an episode of ‘MI-5’. Personally I had some fun watching this flick even though I had to de-zanytize myself soon afterwards.

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