Image copyright © by Marcus Trahan

Wild Target


Bill Nighy is a hit man who puts me in mind of Lawrence Block’s series of stories about a man named Keller, who kills people but, in most other respects, is just like you and me. The guy next door, maybe. He’s conflicted, undergoing analysis, has a dog, passionately collects stamps. Victor Maynard is a killer because it’s the family business. Dad gave him a Beretta for his seventh birthday. There is a colorful mobile from his childhood that features all sorts of handguns. He lived with his mother until recently, when she became infirm, and she’s a killer, too. He is assigned to kill zany Emily Blunt, a compulsive thief and con artist, but through an amazing run of luck he keeps missing, until he decides he doesn’t want to kill her. This leads to trouble, and he goes on the run with her and Rupert Grint (Ron Weasley, from Harry Potter, who really doesn’t need to be there at all). Victor is so uptight that all his furniture is wrapped in plastic. Victor loosens up. Romance blossoms. This is all great fun. There are some very funny lines and situations, and nice chuckles over the improbability of it all. Nothing ever feels really at stake—you didn’t think it would end in tears, did you? It never quite comes together to become a comic classic, but I think it should have had more exposure than it did, which was almost none. It had direct-to-DVD written all over it. I had a good time.