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4.4 out of 5 stars170
4.4 out of 5 stars
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I'm not a great fan of comedy films regardless of their country of origin but I do like Emily Blunt so decided to give this a go. What a treat, this is a really funny black comedy with a superb British cast. Bill Nighy is perfectly cast as uptight middle aged hitman Victor Maynard and his timing is spot on. Emily Blunt is truly charming as kleptomaniac Rose whom he is originally hired to kill but falls in love and Rupert Grint demonstrates that of all the Harry Potter kids he is the one most likely to break free. Rupert Everett is suitably sinister as the villain of the piece and the rest of the ensemble though lesser known to film fans perhaps all do a sterling job. This may not have you laughing out loud but it had me chuckling all the way through. Finally I have to add that the quality of the dvd I watched was so good I had to remind myself that I wasn't watching a blu ray. Buy this, you won't be disappointed. A single one star review does not a bad film make.
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I had a feeling from seeing the trailer for "Wild Target" that I'd enjoy it - and like many others - I was more than pleasantly surprised.

Jonathan Lynn's 2009 film is a hugely enjoyable romp - a kicking little movie with a very witty and warm script. That it stars the truly scrumptious Emily Blunt is good enough for most guys - but mix in real comedic talent like Bill Nighy, Rupert Everett, Martin Freeman and Gregor Fisher - and you're going to have your funny bones tickled - a lot.

What's also unexpected is the genuine (if unlikely) chemistry between Blunt and Nighy. And while the camera simply adores our Em in every scene she appears in - it's Nighy who's steals the entire film. He is just superb as the twitchy po-faced assassin Victor Maynard still unable to live without his mother and properly pleased with his lifetime of strangulations, poisonings and a good clean bullet in the head (his preferred trademark). His mad upper-crust mother Louisa has even made him a lovely newspaper-clippings memento of all these killings and put them in a scrapbook for his 52nd birthday (how thoughtful). Veteran and classy British actress Eileen Atkins gives an equally scene-stealing performance here too - a great combo with Nighy.

The story goes like his - Ruby (Blunt) falsifies a rare painting, pawns it off on bad guy Rupert Everett for a cool million quid, but gets rumbled. Victor is called in to `remove' said rumbler. But of course he is completely unhinged by the lovely kleptomaniac Rose and their initial mutual loathing eventually develops into something worth fighting for. Rose doesn't need to be extinguished by Victor, but protected by him instead (even if it costs £30,000 a week to do so). And Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley from Harry Potter) is cleverly cast too as the footloose and parentless young lad Tony - who simply gets tangled up in the whole shooting match, but turns out to have natural gun-slinging capabilities - and therefore become the apprentice Victor never had. They form an unlikely trio as (slightly bumbling) professional killers pursue them (Martin Freeman and a very funny Geoff Bell).

Hardly original stuff I know - but as other reviewers have said, I'd rather watch this 'again' than sit through some of the truly awful rom-com pap thrown at us these days by Hollywood. It may not be an oil painting, but it's a bloody good copy mate.

Like "Tamara Drew" - "Wild Target" is a very likeable British Ealing-Comedy kind of movie - with a great cast and a very, very witty script.
It's a good night in and well worth a punt. And the BLU RAY is cheap too.

I'm off now to dream of lovely Emily and put down the fact that's she's happily married as a minor inconvenience and trivial detail...

BLU RAY Specifications:
EXTRAS: Cast & Crew Interviews
VIDEO: High Definition 1080p 24/16.9 2.35:1 Aspect
AUDIO: DTS-HD Master Audio English 5.1
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on 25 September 2010
I went into this movie really not sure what to expect. Given that there had been some films recently which had lots of stars and failed as being any form of entertainment [Hello Valentine's day and Killers!]. I loved this movie! Sure, it's not got a complicated plot but I think that's what makes it work. It's just a good bit of fun. I laughed several times. Very funny movie. I loved the cast. Emily Blunt is on top form as always, Bill Nighy is great as usual but for me the cast member who impressed me the most has to be Martin Freeman. His performance was chilling, really quite amazing. I didn't think he would be able to pull of a sadistic hitman but he pulled it off. A fantastic performance. I did like Rupert Grint as well. I loved the lobby scene "He tried to kill me" [runs with luggage] [Emily Blunt comes by soon after with her suitcase shouting "WAIT! WAIT!] Hands down the funniest moment in the entire movie.

Rupert Everett also really impressed me. He was great. It wasn't particularly any different from what he played before [he was a meanie in Shrek 2] but I expected him to play the same kind of role. He did it superbly. I loved the music in the movie. So much so I even bought the soundtrack. I love music in films, it really creates the tone for the film and gets you into the film basically [like the music did for this film].

Overall rating: 10/10
One of the better comedies this year [better than Grown ups, Knight and Day, Dinner for schmucks, The other guys- just to name a few]. If you're into a movie like this where there isn't a complicated plot as such but a very straight forward one and if you're a fan of Emily Blunt, Bill Nighy or Rupert Grint or all of them then I definetly recommend checking it out. On one final note, it turns out I'm one of the only people who have seen this film like the other reviewers. Spread the word about this movie, heck even I will just to get more people to watch it [getting the family to watch it in 2 weeks when it comes out on dvd] because this movie deserves it. It's a brilliant movie. I loved it and can't wait to see it again.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 23 June 2013
With no idea of what to expect, I am happy to say that I found this little movie actually very funny. Normally I am not fond of "black comedy" but this unashamedly silly romp manages to stay firmly on the funny side by handling multiple killings off-screen in cartoon style (killer shoots ... BANG! person falls down ... THUMP!), showing very little blood and almost no bodies, and thus justifying its 12A or PG-13 rating.

The plot is lightweight and clearly improbable: Rose, a rebellious, happy-go-lucky kleptomaniac (delightfully played by Emily Blunt) exceeds the boundaries of her criminal abilities by pawning off a fake Rembrandt to a suave but sinister art collector (Rupert Everett, suitably chilling in a sadly limited role). Her amateur scam is quickly discovered and she finds herself the target of her victim's revenge when the furious art collector hires a meticulous, well-respected professional hit-man, Victor Maynard (brilliantly portrayed by Bill Nighy) to eliminate her. Victor comes from a long line of hit-persons, and his mother Louisa (Eileen Atkins in a hilarious, over-controlling role reminiscent of her mad mother character in "Cold Comfort Farm") is justifiably proud of her son's distinguished hired-gun career. Only this time, uncharacteristically, Victor fails to deliver his trade-mark clean shot-through-the-head and instead has time to observe his target who is clearly the wildest thing he's ever seen. After a series of chaotic mischances, Rose hires a reluctant Victor to guard her against her executioners. Victor's lonely life has not prepared him for the strange feelings he starts to experience when in Rose's presence and considerable confusion ensues.

The madcap, breathless pace of this ridiculous story is greatly enhanced by a stellar cast of supporting characters who are a joy to behold in their respective roles: Gregor Fisher (of "Para Handy" and "Scotch & Wry" fame) plays the hapless but well-meaning gofer; Martin Freeman blinds us with some astonishing dental-work, its gleeful appearance punctuating each successful hit (his character Dixon clearly enjoys his work and is thus the antithesis of Victor whose job satisfaction stems strictly from skilful execution); Dame Atkins comes close to stealing every scene she's in, which is saying something when Bill Nighy is around; and finally Rupert Grint who is amazingly funny as Tony, the joint-puffing drifter who innocently gets sucked into the chaos and discovers a hidden talent.

The director, Jonathan Lynn (best known for his superbly clever co-writing of the classic political-satire TV sagas "Yes Minister" and "Yes, Prime Minister") competently steers a faultless course with material that is solid gold but could easily have turned to lead. The script (by Lucinda Coxon) is unusually witty and firmly anchored in the best tradition of British understated but ludicrous humour, and I found plenty to laugh about but I know that this subtle approach may not be to everyone's liking. Those who worry about plot holes would have a field day here, but would totally miss the point that this is a "Casino Royal" bit of fluff that does not take itself seriously. In fact, despite the rather grim subject matter, this is a truly entertaining film which succeeds brilliantly (for me anyway) in doing exactly what most movies should, but so often fail to, do and that is, to give you many many laughs, transport you into a fantastic world where there are never any cops or police and, ultimately, leave you feeling relaxed and amused.

The extras in the DVD version consist of members of the cast answering off-screen questions ... which I found interesting. The picture quality is excellent and the musical score is enjoyable (great singing from Imelda May) without being too intrusive.
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There's a long tradition of Hollywood remaking successful French comedies - Three Men and a Baby, Down and Out in Beverly Hills, True Lies, The Birdcage etc - but 2010's Wild Target offers the rare sight of a British remake of a French comedy, and a rather good one at that. Pierre Salvadori's 1993 version starred Jean Rochefort as meticulous hitman Victor Meynard who takes on an apprentice and finds himself protecting rather than killing a conwoman, much to the ire of both his disgruntled employer and his homicidal mother who thinks he's letting the family tradition down. Jonathan Lynn's remake follows the plot fairly closely and without turning it into too broad a farce, albeit losing some of the more dryly funny moments in the process. This time Bill Nighy stands in for Rochefort with Emily Blunt the cause of his confusion and, eventually, Rupert Grint his sidekick.

Taken on its own merits it's a decent little comedy even if it does drag its feet a bit in the last third, but it's the kind of film you'll probably like even more if you haven't seen the original. There are a couple of sly reversals and references to the original: where that had Meynard learning to speak English, this has him learning to speak French. But unfortunately something has been lost in translation. Sometimes it's just jokes - the retirement home staff Eileen Atkins' homicidal mother doesn't get on with no longer meet with accidents - but, while the film never goes over the top or descends into frenzied farce, more often its subtlety and understatement that is lost. At times it tends to explain too much that the original allowed you to piece together, like the gag about being paid half in advance or, more crucially, Victor's emotional confusion, while never really adding anything to the original but a new language.

Nighy is an inspired choice for the lead, underplaying his quiet confusion so well that it's a pity they didn't trust his face to tell the story and cut out the odd bit of extraneous explanatory dialogue when his expression says it so much more eloquently. Blunt's performance is a bit of a problem, although it's hard to put a finger on quite why. Technically she doesn't do anything wrong even if her comic timing is a bit hit-and-miss, and you don't see the wheels turning in the calculated way you do in many `technical' performances, but there's something missing that reminds you you're watching an actress showing her range rather than a wildly unpredictable character. Rupert Everett and Martin Freeman are similarly slightly off-target, Everett making just a little too much of his better lines that would have benefited from being thrown away a bit more nonchalantly while Freeman rather noticeably tries to fill in the gaps in his character's writing by trotting out the odd mannerism a bit too often.

The real surprise is Rupert Grint, who excels in an underwritten role that's been seriously scaled back and watered down from the original: rather than a witness to an earlier hit who is taken on as the hitman's apprentice fully aware of what he's getting into he's now an innocent bystander who stumbles through most of the film none-the-wiser, dulling a bit of the film's edge and comic opportunities in the process (not least the mirroring of his relationship with the rival hitman and his none-too-bright apprentice). The production design isn't quite as canny this time round either, seemingly limited by what's mentioned specifically in the script rather than adding to it - Victor's house isn't quite so subtly morbid while his scrapbook is full of anonymous victims rather than celebrities.

It's still an enjoyable film that doesn't quite outstay its welcome even if it could have been a little tighter in places, and it's certainly better than the average French comedy remake - it's just not quite the elegantly executed bullseye that the original was.

Entertainment's BluRay offers a fine 2.35:1 widescreen transfer though the only extra is 56 minutes of press kit interviews with the cast, director, screenwriter and producer, which is an improvement on the US Bluray, which only includes a brief interview with Blunt.
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VINE VOICEon 3 January 2016
Had no expectations or preconceptions when I put this on. It was a really enjoyable romp. It reminded me of Shooting Fish on some levels-that texture of an old Ealing comedy romp. What helped Shooting Fish was a stylish 90s soundtrack. But I really enjoyed Blunt, Nighy, Everett and the ensemble cast. Perhaps the climax needed beefing up, the plot points in Act 3 needed work but the original theatrical reviews I read made it sound like this was dross. It is fair better than that.Emily Blunt has a lot of sassy charm, Rupert Everett is a great gangster and Martin Freeman does South London sinister brilliantly. I also loved Bill Nighy's quirky characteristics (like the schoolboy French) and relationship with his mother. Superb British cast that deserved a slightly better resolution-and maybe soundtrack. But this is far from a dud in my view
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This is an OK film. It's not worth (IMHO) the fulsome praise lavished on it by some reviewers, but neither is it worth the ordure heaped upon it by others. It's a very middling film.

Bill Nighy is a hitman who falls for his latest target, and ends up protecting her whilst training up Rupert Grint who gets tangled up in his dealings and who he sees as a successor. It's an amiable comedy, with some great moments from Nighy in particular (who largely carries the film with his dry, detached demeanour). A couple of big set pieces are pretty funny but the film largely relies on charm to carry it through, and doesn't always have enough. There is some good support work from Gregor Fisher and Rupert Everett as the bad guys, especially Fisher. In all an OK film but not a great one. An inoffensive way to pass a few hours, and probably of interest to those who enjoy the old Ealing comedies such as Ladykillers, Kind Hearts and Coronets or Lavendar Hill mob (though lacking some of those films subtlety, charm or edge of dangerous darkness). 3 stars.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 10 February 2016
What a great movie....I'm not actually reviewing the film itself but I just wanted to say how funny this is...the combination of Nighy and Blunt together worked really well, I usually bypass movies like this but I'm glad I didn't.
As to the disc itself...The sound was good for this type of film...steering was pleasant and separation clean...The actual picture quality was good too running at 25mbps...not the best...but good so this meant close ups were sharp and detailing fine...
Recommended movie all round...Cheers
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on 2 November 2014
I just watched this film and I sooo enjoyed it. Its a comedy thriller thats well thought out and really made us laugh. The comedic touches are subtle and the action moves along gently. Its a story of assasin turned protector and the evolving relationship between the talented Bill Nighy ( Victor Maynard) and Emily Blunt ( Rose). Emily plays a fantastic role and very nearly steals the show. They are brilliantly supported by Rupert Grint (Tony). Its great to see Rupert away from Harry Potter and the acting / comedy skills he showed as Ron Weasly are present here. I was concerned I would only see Ron but Rupert made Tony his own,,,brilliant.
Martin Freeman ( Bilbo Baggins and Sherlock) plays an equally good part as a slimy underword hitman who you really want to get his come-uppance. Other than that you should watch the film as Im not about to reveal the full spoilers here!
Its a really good Sunday afternoon film and is suitable for all ages 12 upwards. My Mum would enjoy it so I shall be lending her the DVD. It was well worth the watch and we will certainly see it again.
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on 22 September 2015
A brilliant film. Bill Nighy is his usual deadpan, neurotic, wonderfully funny self. Emily Blunt is the perfect foil for him, funny and, of course, sexy. Martin Freman, Eleanor Bron, Rupert Grint, Rupert Everett and others all contribute to this crazy, splendid comedy.
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