Hitman farce Wild Target consistently shoots wide of the mark in spite of some promising ingredients.
A remake of 1994 French film, it’s directed by Jonathan Lynn (My Cousin Vinny, The Whole Nine Yards) and boasts a strong cast including Bill Nighy, Emily Blunt and Eileen Atkins.
But an unfunny script, unconvincing characters and some loose direction put pay to any of its early potential.
Middle-aged hitman Victor Maynard (Nighy) finds his professional routine upset by the feelings he develops for his latest target, kooky thief Rose (Blunt). Turning protector instead, he subsequently bids to stop the ruthless art dealer (Rupert Everett) and rival assassin (Martin Freeman) now threatening their lives with the help of a novice apprentice (Rupert Grint).
Despite a promising start, Wild Target quickly becomes riddled with problems ranging from Nighy and Blunt’s failure to convince as potential lovers, to the haphazard nature of the comedy, which offers edgy black humour one minute and sit-com friendly material the next.
Lynn’s direction is also uninspired and sometimes shoddy, failing even to mask the use of a hand double for one of Nighy’s romantic moments. It’s a measure of how uninvolving the film becomes, though, that such editing flaws are exposed.
General release from Fri 18 Jun.