Wild Target is a 2010 black comedy film, based on the 1993 French film Cible émouvante.
Victor Maynard (Bill Nighy) is an experienced and efficient assassin living a lonely life. It's the family's business: Victor follows a family line of professional assassins, and he completes his assignments quickly and without remorse. His mother, Louisa (Eileen Atkins), is an intimidating woman very aware of his job, who expresses concern that he might be homosexual, wondering why he hasn't produced a successor.
Rose (Emily Blunt) is a not-so-average girl with a talent for thievery. Her most recent theft involves the sale of a fake Rembrandt painting (painted by her friend in the Restoration Department of the National Gallery), managing to swindle the buyer out of £1,000,000. The buyer soon discovers the swap and hires Victor to dispose of her. Victor takes the hit and immediately tracks Rose down, missing several opportunities to kill her due to chance, but he grows interested in her and agrees to protect her, while being joined by Tony (Rupert Grint), a local slacker.
This work contains examples of:
- Accidental Aiming Skills: Tony shoots someone accurately the first time he picks up a gun, and doesn't know how. The second time, he shoots someone's ear off. He also grabs a thrown knife out of the air, but no one else sees it.
- Accidental Pervert: Victor overhears Rose having sex, but he sits there and continues listening throughout the night.
- Accidental Suicide: Faux Affably Evil hitman Hector Dixon tries to shoot sympathetic older Hitman with a Heart Victor and his Love Interest Rose with Victor's old pistol. He learns that a gun whose owner has not bothered to clean it in years is prone to backfire at the split second the magazine goes through his eye.
- Backwards-Firing Gun: Dixon gets this when he fires the old Mauser C96, which hasn't been cleaned.
- Bad Boss: Ferguson mistreats his minions rather badly, including backhanding them.
- Belligerent Sexual Tension: Between Victor and Rose.
- Black Comedy: It's basically about an assassin falling in love and ensuring that he leaves a legacy.
- Bloody Hilarious: Mike getting his ear shot off.
- Chekhov's Gun: One of the literal examples.
- Costume Porn: Rose has some very nice clothes. Justified, because she does steal them.
- Cuteness Proximity: Victor, around his cat.
- Deadpan Snarker: Rose, Victor, Victor's mother...
- Defrosting Ice Queen: Rose, eventually.
- Deus ex Machina: Victor's mother showing up in the end is arguably an example.
- Drives Like Crazy: Rose, although she does point out she's not used to her car.
- Family Business: Victor's father was an assassin, as was his father's father, etc.
- Funny Bruce Lee Noises: Done by Tony while practicing with a katana in one scene.
- Gun Stripping: Victor Maynard is trying to teach Tony the tricks of the trade. Surprisingly, Tony manages to put the gun together... but only to have it fly apart when he picks it up.
- In Love with the Mark: Victor is initially unable to kill Rose due to chance, but he grows interested in her and agrees to protect her. They end up falling in love.
- In Training: Tony, under Victor's tutelage.
- Like Brother and Sister: Tony and Rose — they even have a fight in the car like small children.
- Manic Pixie Dreamgirl: Rose, although she is a bratty version.
- MayDecember Romance: Victor and Rose.
- Mistaken for Gay: Victor, by his mother and Rose, among other people. While he's not really a Camp Straight, his personality fits the stereotype of an uptight, closeted/repressed gay man.
- Perpetual Smiler: Dixon, even when he's annoyed, which just makes him even more creepy.
- Professional Killer: Victor, much to the point where he doesn't really seem to have a life outside of killing people.
- Running Gag: Tony being a terrible shot, Rose's kleptomania, Mike getting repeatedly shot by Tony, Rose and Victor's UST, Rose asking men she wants to sleep with how much they weigh...
- Super OCD:
- Rose complains she can't sleep unless her bed is facing south. In real life, Emily Blunt actually does have OCD.
- Victor is even worse. All his furniture is shrink-wrapped.
- That Poor Cat: When Rose is trying to quietly escape Maynard's home out a window, she throws her heavy luggage out the window, prompting this. Earlier, we'd seen the same cat painted neon pink after Victor cuts loose for his birthday. The epilogue implies Rose and Victor's son buried the cat in the garden.
- Toyota Tripwire: Tony gets this in the face.
- Uptight Loves Wild: Victor and Rose's relationship to a t, although in a sense, Victor's long experience with contract killing makes him considerably more "wild" than Rose, who is just a kleptomaniac.
- Womanchild: Rose sometimes acts more like a bratty teenager then a grown woman. Often behaving very immature and rarely thinking of the consequences of her actions, which annoys Victor to no end.