The most delightful criminal comedy since “A Fish Called Wanda”.
Bill Nighy stars as Victor Maynard, an old school hitman who takes his job extremely seriously and with precision. His father was an assassin and his mother (Eileen Atkins) taught him how to kill.
And now his family legacy is in jeopardy when Victor turns from assassin to protector of his latest prey, Rose (Emily Blunt).
Rose has a few secrets of her own as she is on the run from a gangster (Rupert Everett) who she cheated out of a Rembrandt.
As the story plays out we are introduced to a rival assassin (Martin Freeman) and Victor’s young protege (Harry Potter’s Rupert Grint).
This is director Jonathan Lynn’s first movie in seven years. His last movie was the awful “The Fighting Temptations” with Cuba Gooding Jr. and Beyonce Knowles. And before that was 2000’s “The Whole Nine Yards” which surprise, surprise was another criminal comedy.
His best film before “Wild Target” was 1992’s “My Cousin Vinny” in which won Marisa Tomei her Oscar. Lynn got his start writing and directing the long running British series, “Yes Minister”.
Bill Nighy’s performance is quite a riot especially when he is relating to his mother. Their relationship is almost like Norman Bates and his mother. The mother’s domineering ways over the son. I love the guilt trips and seriousness she takes the family legacy.
I especially love the scene:
(After his wheelchair bound mother almost blew his head off with a shotgun.)
Victor: Mother, I think we have a problem.
Mother (still holding a shotgun): I’d think so.
Victor: I know you have invested a great deal in me.
Mother: A Beretta for you seventh birthday. The pistol of princes. No boy could have asked for more.
Victor: Indeed. But I just wonder as a result, what have I become?
Mother: You have become your father’s son!
These scenes are utterly priceless. The dialogue, the performance from Eileen Atkins and Bill Nighy and just how detailed their relationship is. I mean that present giving scene was also side-splittingly funny as well.
Blunt’s out of control Rose is also a delight to see. She is the complete opposite of Nighy and how these characters interact is quite interesting and funny. She’s a wildcat and always gets what she wants.
I have to say I was delighted in finding this movie. The comedic timing, the performances from the leads and the story make for a really delightful movie.
4.5 out of 5
So Says the Soothsayer