Wild Target (2009) starring Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett, Eileen Atkins, Martin Freeman, Gregor Fisher, Geoff Bell, Rory Kinnear directed by Jonathan Lynn Movie Review

Wild Target (2009)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Bill Nighy and Emily Blunt in Wild Target (2009)

The Assassins Apprentice

Con artist Rose (Emily Blunt) is a smart cookie who uses her attractive looks to hustle her way through life. But Rose over steps her mark when she tries to con gangster Ferguson (Rupert Everett) into buying a forged Rembrandt. It leads to 54 year old hit man Victor (Bill Nighy) being hired to kill her, except the dry Victor can't bring himself to do so and ends up becoming her protector when the evil Dixon (Martin Freeman) and his hit men are hired to do the job he didn't do. Now the single and incredibly stiff Victor not only finds himself with Rose to look after but also Tony (Rupert Grint) who just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"Wild Target" opens with a scene of Victor walking along the street practicing his French, he walks into a building where upon someone falls to their death from a great height and Victor exits in a calm manner still practicing his French. The scene is meant to be amusing but unfortunately it falls incredibly flat and despite featuring a cast of well known British actors "Wild Target" suddenly looks like it is going to be one of those comedies which is going to be a struggle.

Rupert Grint in Wild Target (2009)

Unfortunately "Wild Target" ends up exactly just that, a British comedy with a lot of British talent but humour which constantly disappoints. That more than anything is what is wrong with "Wild Target" from the humour of Bill Nighy as Victor in his boxer shorts with knives attached to his suspenders to his domineering mother who questions whether he is a homosexual; it constantly fails to be the laugh fest you expect. Of course comedy is subjective and what makes me laugh won't make someone else even smile so maybe there is an audience for this sort of dour comedy but it isn't the sort of comedy which will appeal to those who enjoy obvious laughs.

Now that for me makes "Wild Target" a disappointment especially considering the amount of British talent on show. Everyone from Bill Nighy to Rupert Grint delivers an entertaining performance but fails to make the dry comedy come to life. They all end up coming across as awkward especially Bill Nighy who at times seems like he is channelling John Cleese.

What this all boils down to is that "Wild Target" is in truth not a bad movie but mainly because it features a likeable cast. Unfortunately the likeability of the cast can only go so far and the lame humour drags "Wild Target" right down.