Victor Maynard is a middle-aged, solitary assassin whose professional routine is interrupted when he spares the life of one of his intended victims, Rose. He spares her life, unexpectedly acquiring in the process a young apprentice, Tony. Believing Victor to be a private detective, his two new companions tag along, while he attempts to thwart the murderous attentions of his unhappy client.
Jonathan Lynn comes back from a seven year break from directing with his new film ‘Wild Target’ about an assassin going through an unexpected time of change resulting from his latest assignment. ‘Wild Target’ as one might expect is something of a dark comedy finding humor in the schemes and immoral actions of a group of criminals all crossing paths with each other throughout the film.
Lynn delivers a slow paced film, with the peculiar laughs and quirky moments spread nicely throughout though the middle act tends to run a bit flat for too long with a stronger introduction and conclusion to the story. Like the central character the film pays strong attention to small details and this helps really flesh out the personalities of the main characters.
Bill Nighy gives another strong performance as the very particular, mild mannered and habitual middle aged hitman, and Emily Blunt is entertaining and gives an eccentric performance that suits the tone of the film. To the films credit there is a strong sense of progression for each of the characters as they evolve throughout the film ending each of their arcs in a very different place from where they begin.
The comedic aspects of the film found their mark with the audience in the screening, there isn’t many laugh out loud moments, the comedy is delivered more in the form of regular amusing moments. The film also makes good use of just a few different locations spaced out from the city to some scenic country locations.
Overall ‘Wild Target’ is generally a slow moving quiet film, the story is quite predictable early on but it maintains a nice quirkiness and black humor throughout. It’s certainly not a comedy for everyone, but for those who like something a little offbeat, there’s definitely some enjoyment to be found here.
Wild Target’ is scheduled for release in Australian cinemas on the 11th November, I’m giving it 3 out of 5 stars.