|Wild Target (2010)|
|Written by Noah Fleming|
|Monday, 21 February 2011|
The film was a bust in its limited US theatrical run, scrapping in under $200,000. It faired better in the UK, but it never approached the estimated $8 million creation budget. Likely, reviews of its theatrical release scared off potential moviegoers. However, now that it is on home video it is easy to pick up and give a shot, pun intended.
Bill Nighy stars as Victor Maynard, an assassin for hire that is more comic than professional. From the opening hits you can see that this is not an uptight hitman film, but rather a simple hit gone wrong with a comedic twist affair.
Victor is nearing 55 years of age and has just recently stopped leaving with his mother. FYI, the Maynard family comes from a long line of hitman, and they are very open about the topic amongst themselves. Maynard is hired by a wealthy man to kill Rose (Emily Blunt), who has swindled him out of a Rembrandt painting and money.
When Maynard spots Rose he is immediately drawn to her, watching as she cons her way through life. After failing at his first attempt, Maynard is given a second chance to take out the girl. Once again Maynard finds himself in a predicament as he kills the backup assassin and goes on the run with Rose. Along the way they pick up Tony (Rupert Grint), a somewhat homeless kid that gets got in the middle of the assassination plot.
The three travel from place to place, trying to avoid being killed by the replacement assassins. This is pretty much where the film ceases to have any meaningful plot. The rest of the film deals with avoidance, a hard-to-stomach romance between a 55-year old and a 25-year old, and the adoption of Tony as Maynard’s apprentice. Of course the one little twist is that neither Tony nor Rose know that Victor was originally sent to kill Rose.
There really isn’t much to this film. In fact, there are numerous instances in which the film moves entirely too slowly. However, there are several occasions in which the comedic efforts make up for all that. Emily Blunt is a terrific actress that gives us a sassy, con artist in the most comedic way possible. Bill Nighy is superb as always, giving us an uptight but comedic hitman. Rupert Grint emerges from the shadow of Harry Potter to give his first real standalone performance. Though his performance is fairly meek, some of the comedic hits land on cue.
Realistic is the mark for the video quality of this Blu-ray disc. The film sits on a 25GB Blu-ray disc with an AVC encode at about 23Mbps and a 2.35:1 aspect ratio. There is no flashy image quality here. It is very “British” in a way. The image is clean, but not due to any noise reduction or enhancements. All the shots are simple and clean. A filmic quality is retained. Details are strong enough, but never truly pop. This could be a side effect of the overcast lighting of England. There are numerous soft instances but they don’t detract all that much. Colors are ordinary and realistic. They won’t grab you, but they are satisfying for the piece. Black levels are a bit weak in the darker areas, but shadow delineation remains clear. This is a very suitable visual experience, but it won’t leave a lasting impression.
Likewise, the DTS-HD MA 5.1 audio track is suitable for the style and budget of the film, but it won’t leave any lasting impressions either. The dialogue is the priority here and it is delivered clean and clear. Despite the accents, all the lines are perfectly intelligible. The LFE channel could have been of greater use in this film, but as it stands it is absent. The dynamics are fairly flat, which is a bit disappointing. The surround channels deliver some decent ambience at times, but are sterile and empty at others. When discrete effects are placed in the surround channels the directionality is generally good. Panning suffers from some misplaced sounds at times. Overall, the audio track fits the bill for the film.
There is only one special feature on the disc; “On Target With Emily Blunt.” This is a 3-minute interview with the actress on her character.
“Wild Target” is certainly full of contrived plots and plot holes a plenty. Still, there is a certain charm about the film that makes it worth at least a rent. The audio and video qualities are above average but will exit your mind without a thought.