Britain's got talent! As Hollywood's comedic cloud spreads worldwide and Chinese slapstick is desperate to follow suit, Brits maintain their uniquely sarcastic and calm aura in their comedies, which does make a refreshing change from the genre we have an intimate and stereotyped knowledge of.
The new British black comedy Wild Target is onesuch minor gem. Even though the movie sits on a contrived script, it still comes as a pleasant surprise. After all, when a thing is rare, it becomes precious.
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is a middle-aged assassin, solitary, silent and sexually confused. He inherits the job from his father and has been in the business since childhood. Now the hermetic killer is pushed by his mother to have a child in order to pass down the family craft.
As he executes the new mission to kill an art thief called Rose, played by Emily Blunt, Victor unexpectedly falls for the unconstrained young girl and acquires a clumsy apprentice Tony, brought to life by Rupert Grint (who last appeared on our screens as Ron Weasley in the Harry Potter movies) in the process. Thus, going from hired killer to committed protector, Victor has his professional routine interrupted.
A remake of a 1993 French movie, Wild Target is watchable and enjoyable after the superb cast and solid lines strengthen the frigid storyline, which often takes sudden and forced turns. Bill Nighy is the soul of the movie. He develops a chemistry of romance with Emily Blunt. It is a relationship that appears so convincing and lovely, far exceeding that between Sandra Bullock and Ryan Reynolds in The Proposal. The cradle snatcher holds the film together effortlessly, while alongside him Emily Blunt adds another string to her bow and the Hogwarts honoured graduate Rupert Grint also provides a solid performance as a bootless and goofy young guy.
The movie somehow bears a resemblance to another British comedy Hot Fuzz, especially when you juxtapose the type of violence seen in the two movies. In this world killing a man is no more difficult than opening a bottle of booze. It's not bloody and excruciating but quite amusing and "fake", of course in a good way, and can probably be called "violence suitable for all ages".