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2 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

I would have laughed more in 1972

Author: colinmetcalfe from United Kingdom
24 October 2010

Absolutely nothing wrong with this film, well cast, well acted, professionally shot and produced - perfect if the year was 1972! I haven't seen the French film this was based on but even in the early nineties this story would have seemed tired. The world has moved on, and making this film is the equivalent of remaking 'Are You Being Served' (for non-Brits that's a: dated seventies TV sit com).

No attempt was made, that I spotted, to give the story a bit of originality - something a bit different. I don't know if the writer's hands were tied and they had to stick to the original, but oh dear.

I thought the actors were trying their best but if you've seen all the gags before (many times) how are you expected to laugh? Emily Blunt is lovely but no amount of her flouncing around in her short skirts and high heels is going to save a movie bereft of any other graces. However, if somebody could squeeze out another story in the same genre with an element of originality and real comic drama she'd be perfect in the same role.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

British really?

Author: Chuck Boulder from New Zealand
3 February 2011

Reading through all the previous reviews I was puzzled somehow to discover that a remake from a nonetheless excellent French movie (Cible Emouvante - 1993) can be described as British when the best way to describe it is French farce.

Do not get me wrong the remake is very satisfying but the original is far better. I am not entirely convinced with the chemistry between the three (well, four if you count the mother) main protagonists and the whole script has been left untouched. Nothing was added to the original, a few goodies have actually been left out.

As the assassin, Jean Rochefort deadbeat persona and typical French flair for comedy is hard to beat. Bill Nighy made a decent job of reprising the role of Victor Maynard in a more British sort of way obviously. The let down comes mostly from his companions, as the three never found the most wanted chemistry.

The trio of Rochefort-Depardieu-Trintignan progressed through the original movie to the point where they appeared almost like a family at the end. I did not feel as much empathy for the British trio who felt to me like three actors giving each other the replica as opposed to three characters trying to make the best out of an awkward situation. There is a form of kindness in the original that I could not find in the remake.

Otherwise most of the situations and jokes found in the original are there, so if you loved 'Cible Emouvante' as much as I did, you will probably be slightly amused with this remake.

In a nutshell, 'Wild Target' follows a long line of translated French comedies a la Jacques Weber but without the quirky French acting which is a big part of what made the original movie work so well. I would definitely recommend the original if you can find it on DVD.

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5 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

Entertaining, but desperately predictable

Author: bad_badger from United Kingdom
13 July 2010

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I haven't seen 'Cible Emouvante' so I don't know how close this is to the original, but the story just didn't seem to gel for me.

Bill Nighy plays his part well, although I feel he could probably have cruised through this with his eyes shut. Emily Blunt is also very good, but I found her character maddeningly infuriating and was rooting for Nighy to shoot her right from the outset. Perhaps this instant loathing made it difficult for me to swallow the burgeoning romance between them - as the likelihood of her being assassinated dwindled, so did my interest in the proceedings.

I think Rupert Everett and Gregor Fisher were criminally underused; they play the central antagonists in the first and second acts of the movie and then are conveniently forgotten about with the introduction of Nighy's rival assassin Martin Freeman (with hilarious fake teeth).

The ending is pretty ham-fisted, too. It goes through some very predictable paces to a very generic and convenient conclusion - so much so that you could leave with thirty minutes of running time left and be confident that 'things turn out all right in the end'.

Despite these grumbles the film is ultimately good fun; the humour is quite gentle and the moments of violence are always portrayed behind a safety net of pathos or comedy. If it's entertainment you're after, you could do a lot worse than watch 'Wild Target'.

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0 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

Felt rather robbed

Author: pearshake from Australia
14 February 2011

Wild Target is a remake of the classic French comedy, Cible Emouvante by British director Jonathan Lynn. Starring Bill Nighy as a middle-aged, socially awkward assassin, Victor Maynard, who falls for his intended target, the free-spirited Rose (Emily Blunt). Along for the ride is the hapless but sweet-natured Tony (Rupert Grint of Harry Potter fame) who thinks he has landed on his feet as Victor's apprentice. Victor must battle with his possessive mother, a Norma Bates clone, whilst Rose gets in the way of his plastic-covered furniture and Bonsai trimming life – a life that has allowed him to get his hits done cleanly and efficiently. But his true battle is in his affection for the charming art-thief, Rose. There were some colourful scenes through London, especially Rose's bike ride through the National Gallery, and some exciting fight scenes, in particular an ear being blown off (a modern Van Gogh?) but ultimately I wasn't convinced of the unlikely romance and the film left me feeling robbed myself

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Playing murder for laughs

Author: potato2
8 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is an erudite, posh gentleman who also happens to be a professional hit man. Hired to terminate Rosie (Emily Blunt), a pretty young thief, he instead falls for her. On the run from the men who hired him, they are accompanied by a confused stoner (Rupert Grint) as they hide out till the coast is clear.

I always enjoy the wonderful Bill Nighy and he has many witty scenes early on; unfortunately, none of them are shared with Blunt or Grint. Blunt's character is thoroughly unlikable and she has no romantic chemistry with Victor; Grint's drifter serves no purpose in the story, he's awkward, and mumbles his dialogue. The film starts out promising enough as we watch Victor alone, but once the three come together it's absurd and silly.

This is an okay rental, just don't expect big laughs or a plausible script.

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2 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

What a dog's breakfast

Author: Nici Bruckner from Berlin
10 November 2012

What an utterly pointless film. I don't remember when i saw something more disjointed, where character development is assumed and clichéd, where the stars are called on simply to do their thing, without bothering to put together a strong script.

The funny bits, aren't funny, the "I wonder what thats about they will explain it later?" bits are obvious and forced.

The actors themselves, are fine, i pity they had to wallow through this muck.

Terrible directing. Terrible editing.

I am shocked this is currently rating at 6.8 its a total boredom fest.

If only I could get me 2 hrs back, id have got nails hammered into my feet instead, would have been more enjoyable.

Worst thing for me is I've seen the leads in other movies, where they played more or less the same roles, and they were awesome. Goes to show how at the mercy the actors from the creative team on a movie, and this team... wow. So rubbish.

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3 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

A great mix that just doesn't work

Author: magferguson from Latvia
13 March 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Take great actors and put them into a horribly-made movie and watch nothing happen.

Unfortunately, in this particular case neither Bill Nighy, my personal idol since Love Actually, nor Emily Blunt, nor Martin Freeman, nor Rupert Grint -- none of them can salvage the worn-out clichés strung together by an old worn-out predictable plot.

There is not really much else to say about the movie. There is even no need for spoilers -- if you have seen but a single film of this type, you'll know exactly how this one will go.

I improved the rating by 1 because of the actors and of the interest of watching Grint in something else beside Harry Potter. But that's about it.

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7 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Fails to deliver

Author: Gordon-11 from Earth
17 July 2010

This film is about a professional killer having an unusual situation as he saves the woman he is supposed to kill. "Wild Target" tries to be funny and exciting, but it fails to deliver either. It starts off promising as the assassin encounters the hilariously unexpected situation concerning his target, but things go downhill from there. The only funny moments are delivered by the mother. As for the excitement, the storytelling provides little tension or suspense. This means there is not much to engage the viewers. If not for Emily Blunt's good performance of being in love, "Wild Target" would have been even more disappointing.

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0 out of 8 people found the following review useful:

A 'quirky action comedy' that fails on all levels of that description.

Author: oneguyrambling from Australia
25 April 2011

Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is an assassin. A good one. A famous one, so famous that everyone knows what he has done, but so good that no-one knows who what he looks like.

Victor Maynard knows 17 ways to strangle a person – and you thought one decent method would do the trick! Victor loves his Mum, who keeps all of his clippings and accomplishments in a scrapbook: just like other Mums, though his clippings invariably describe coldblooded killings and assassinations.

Victor is well-dressed, quiet and orderly. He lives alone and is polite to others – even those he is about to kill. He is single.

This all changes when a beautiful female criminal who seemingly has an innate compulsion to cheat, steal, con and manipulate comes into his crosshairs… literally.

Rose (Emily Blunt) is among other things a seller of forged artworks, when Rose diddles the wrong criminal mastermind named Ferguson (Rupert Everett) a contract is offered for her life. That contract is handed to… …the suspense is killing me… Oh come on we all know who gets it.

Victor has an inopportune twinge of conscience, or maybe it was another trouser related twinge, but in any case he cannot bring himself to carry out the hit and lets Rose go. Upon arriving home he finds his furious Mother who laments the damage that this inaction will wreak on the family honour. She demands that the right thing to do is to perform the hit for free.

Victor reluctantly agrees, but unbeknownst to all involved new assassins have been bought in, and in the ensuing mess a young bloke named Tony (Rupert Grint) becomes embroiled in proceedings.

The new dysfunctional trio set off on the lam, with Rose asking Victor to protect her from the perceived threat outside, not knowing that her new bodyguard should in fact have topped her already.

By now Ferguson is more p*ssed than ever and brings in the only assassin seen as the equal of Victor, a man named Dixon (a woefully miscast Martin Freeman). The three fugitives lay low in Victor's country home, Rose initially resents Victor's regimented ways and orderly lifestyle, while Victor takes a wide eyed Tony under his wing, hoping to lead him into "the life", all the while with Dixon and his offsider closing in.

Look I've seen it so I know how bland it is, so even if the above stuff does sound vaguely interesting please don't fall for it. The first 40 minutes lay the table for what might have been a quirky comedy given the right ingredients, but the last 40 minutes are about as good and funny as an episode of Charmed – only without the partially redeeming feature of three surgically enhanced sets of cleavage.

Bill Nighy seems a little rote in his role as Victor even when he should be livening up a little in the latter stages, Emily Blunt could be described as spunky, though her character Rose really doesn't demand attention, and the Harry Potter kid was in it so that they could say a Harry Potter kid was in it I would think? But the one sore thumb that sticks out more than the others is Freeman as Dixon, he is neither tough nor especially clever, and certainly doesn't seem a real threat to even the most average of dangerous persons.

I like Freeman as an actor, he is extremely likable in almost every role he has played – that can't help him when you are supposed to be the Black Hat guy in a film, especially when you are lumbered with some of the worst "jokes", quotations used very deliberately.

Final Rating – 5 / 10. Wild Target aimed to be a quirky action comedy, if it weren't for the fact that it fails to provide anything of substance in any of the three categories it very well might have succeeded. As it stands I wouldn't even bother considering this as even a $1 rental.

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2 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

Bad Man

Author: richf123 from Australia
8 January 2011

This movie had a good premise but the acting was wooden and it was not pulled off very well. I did not enjoy the main female character and the guy from Harry Potter does not do a very good acting job. It seemed as though they were reading from cue cards and then delivered their lines with no enthusiasm whatsoever. The only character that did a half decent job was Rupert Everitt and not even his performance could save this. There were very few laughs from any of the few hundred strong audience at Moonlight Cinema in Melbourne. This was a serious waste of time and money. It had me looking at my watch for almost the whole way through just waiting for it to finish. Like hiring a bad video from the store you feel you have to watch because you have paid for it.

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