briarwood: (HL Methos BeenThere)
Morgan Briarwood ([personal profile] briarwood) wrote2010-06-21 10:14 am
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Apologies and Wild Target

Last week was family drama week. Apparently.

It's a long story, and not one I especially want to tell, but everyone is okay now and other than a stress-headache I am unscathed. But I've been somewhat absent and I'm behind on a bunch of my commitments. Including Sentinel Big Bang because I failed to post last week's checkpoint. I will remedy that later today.

If I've missed anything I should have commented on or replied to, I'm really sorry. Please let me know and I'll catch up with you asap.

On Saturday I escaped to the movies and saw Wild Target. It's a British-made comedy starring Bill Nighy as a hit man and Emily Blunt as a girl he's paid to kill but ends up, through a peculiar twist of circumstances, saving instead. It also has the guy who plays Ron in the Harry Potter movies (sorry, I can't remember his name right now) as an innocent bystander who gets caught up in their lives and who Bill Nighy's character wants to train as his apprentice, and Rupert Everett as the bad guy.

It's very funny. The humour is occasionally black (but not tasteless, though I didn't appreciate the fate of the parrot), and the whole thing hangs together really well. It suffers from the usual compulsion of British-made films to cram in as many of the London landmarks as possible, making one of the chase scenes unintentionally hilarious to anyone actually familiar with London. But that's a small thing.

It's a romantic plot, kind of, in which no one gets naked. Um. Correction: I mean there's no sex scene, actually someone does get naked. Hilariously so. Okay, let me back up and try that again.

Girl plans to steal a famous Rembrant which has just been sold to a Russian mobster. Mobster is not pleased to be scammed and hires a hit-man to kill her. The hit man fails in his first attempt and the mobster sends his own men to finish the job. They all come together in a multi-storey car park and the hit man "accidently" saves her life (because he wants to be the one to kill her). A young man unrelated to everyone witnesses the incident and tries to be a hero. He assumes the hit man is a cop (and thus a good guy). The hit man, for reasons which are unclear but can be deduced, then becomes the girl's protector and the three end up on the run from the Russian mob guys. They hide out in a hotel, then flee to the hit man's safehouse in the countryside. While they hide there, a third hit man is hired to kill the girl and the original assassin who is now protecting her. A subtle sort of romance blooms in the country house before the girl figures things out, tries to escape and...well, I won't give away any more.

The hit-man character is great. Initially it's hard to feel empathy for the guy: after all, he's a paid killer and doesn't seem to have much conscience about it, but as the film progresses I really warmed to him. His struggles over his sexuality are endearing: he's not a gay character, but he's an older man who evidently has no het romance in his life, so it's like he kind of thinks he should be gay, but doesn't actually feel it. Emily Blunt provides a bit of slapstick humour: she's a smart girl who planned the heist that got her into trouble really well, but is annoyingly incompetent once the film gets going.

The best character, though, is Bill Nighy's mother: a little old lady confined to a wheelchair, but an ex-assassin herself and clearly psychotic. She also appears to have superpowers as she twice appears in upstairs locations in that wheelchair with no one to assist her getting there. I'm not sure whether that's a plot hole or if the wheelchair is supposed to be a fake-out.

9/10. I don't know how widely this one is being released, but it's well worth the price of a ticket.