Tuesday, 6 July 2010

REVIEW: Wild Target

I kill people. And I'm English. Reality melts.

This is the kind of film that gives British Cinema a bad name, or the name that it currently has if you feel like being particularly cynical. That sense of trying way too hard yet not trying hard enough at the same time, and what is certainly the case for this film, trying to shake free of that long-lasting British curse of unescapable naffness and inadvertantly embracing it entirely. To the point where pretty much all of Wild Target is a cringe-worthy experience. Nothing works like it wants to and after a while even the most hateful amongst you will stop taking pleasure in its inadequecy and begin willing it to get better, just out of pity. But it won't work folks. Not at all.

Let the vitriolics begin then I guess. The most naueseatingly irritating thing about this movie is that it's balls deep in that trend of English movies that dully subvert hollywood Englishness as a punchline and think its hilarious. As an English person I hate this trend. Whether it be Maggie Smith is a serial killer despite her englishness, or Judi Dench owning a strip-club despite her Englishness Or Hugh Grant marrying into the mafia despite his Englishness, its never not embarrassing and Wild Target thinks that the uptight, thoroughly English Bill Nighy killing people is just so hilarious a concept that it doesn't really have to do anything else. Throw in Emily Blunt as a paper thin Manic Pixie Dream Girl and Rupert Grint who just seems delighted not to be playing Ron Weasley and you're made. But to be frank, Nighy isn't very good in this movie. He's an actor that is rarely criticized, and rightly so, but the character he tries to create here is a way too uneven a being, with many line deliveries that should never have made it past the editing suite. Blunt doesn't fare much better, stretching her innate likability to breaking point trying to substantiate the material. Grint I perhaps enjoyed the most, which is pretty crazy really but hey Uruguay got to the world cup semi-finals so fuck conventional expectations.

But the biggest and ugliest criminal of Wild Target is the script. A painfully under-developed, inconsistent thing of unadulterated incompetence that I just wanted the movie to end, so I could go home and forget it ever existed. As will you if you somehow see this movie. I wish it on nobody. What Kangeroo Jack is to Australia, Wild Target is to England, with the real indignity being that we made this one.

Rating: 3/10


Simon said...

It's a shame, I was really looking forward to this. Not even worth it for Nighy?

Louis Baxter said...

Not really. Its pretty damn terrible.