YOU EITHER have a soft spot for movies like Wild Target, or you don't. (My spot is over easy—pretty soft, in other words.) Wild Target is a whimsical Britcom, the kind of movie that might've been considered a black comedy back in the '80s but is really more of a charcoal gray—it's more sweetly quaint than anything else. It's about a career hitman named Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy, redefining brittle) who's never made time for anything other than his work. He lives with his mother (Eileen Atkins), he doesn't have any real friends, he's possibly gay—and he's just been given the toughest job of his career. Who knows: maybe he'll learn... to love?
Victor's hired to kill Rose (Emily Blunt), a compulsive thief who's just sold a forgery to a crooked art collector (Rupert Everett). Rose isn't so easy to kill, though—she's attractive, which deeply befuddles the asexual Victor—and soon, she's somehow gotten him to protect her from the other killer trying to knock her off (Martin Freeman, making the most of a gleaming set of false teeth). But Rose's untamable free-spiritedness is at direct odds with the tightly wound Victor, and there's a redheaded teen tagging along (Ron Weasley, played by Ron Weasley) whom Victor either wants to mentor or shag.
Director Jonathan Lynn (Clue, My Cousin Vinny) has made a career out of this blend of crime and comedy, and Wild Target really feels like a throwback to 15 or 20 years ago—not surprising, since it's based on 1993 French film Cible Émouvante. Nighy is unsurprisingly entertaining, Blunt manages to be more likeable than irritating, and Ron Weasley gingers it up. Wild Target's the kind of movie you'd buy for your grandma, who finally learned how to work the VCR and who absolutely LOOOVED those A Fish Called Wanda and Dirty Rotten Scoundrels videotapes you sent her.