Director: Jonathan Lynn, Magic Light Pictures, Rated M, 98 Minutes
Unlike George Clooney’s serious portrayal of a hit man in The American, Bill Nighy’s characterisation in British director Jonathan Lynn’s latest comedy spoof is one of a comedy of errors.
Nighy (The Boat that Rocked) portrays the calculating and efficient hit man Victor Maynard who comes from a line of professional hit men with even his mother Louisa (Eileen Atkins) who has retired from the ‘business’ still seen toting s shotgun.
Maynard’s next job is to terminate a con-artist, the effusive but wild Rose (beautifully played by the vivacious Young Victoria actress Emily Blunt) who has sold a fake Rembrandt painting to a crooked art lover named Ferguson (Rupert Everett from My Best Friend’s Wedding).
Much to Maynard’s annoyance the ‘hit’ goes terribly wrong due to the clumsy interference of Tony (Rupert Grint from the Harry Potter movies) who later finds himself becoming part of an unlikely trio and Maynard’s reluctant ‘apprentice’.
Realising that Rose has not been eliminated Ferguson hires another hit man, Hector Dickson (Martin Freeman), to kill both Maynard and Rose.
This forces Maynard to change his mind and offer to protect the emotionally uncontrollable Rose with whom he ultimately falls for against his mother’s direction that she is still the target.
Together with Tony, Maynard and Rose then become involved in a series of farcical moments that result in a final comical confrontation with Ferguson’s hit man Dickson.
As a comedic director Lynn has brought together a reasonable cast of British actors, with the pairing of Nighy and Blunt being a special treat and Blunt’s performance being particularly enjoyable despite the inconsequential inclusion of Grint and a somewhat farcical plot.
Even though Lyn (involved with many comedy productions including Nuns on the Run) has made an entertaining movie - at times it does appear to have missed the target.
VIC'S VERDICT: 3½ Rubber Stamps
A Christmas Carol
Release date: 24 November 2010
Director: Robert Zemeckis, Walt Disney Pictures, Rated PG, 98 Minutes
Disney’s release of its Christmas DVD by award winning director Robert Zemeckis is his brilliant interpretation of A Christmas Carol starring the ever popular Jim Carey (The Mask) playing the roles of Ebenezer Scrooge and the Ghosts of Christmases Past, Present and Future.
It is the classic story of A Christmas Carol with Ebenezer Scrooge being taken on a journey through three different Christmases to teach him the true meaning of Christmas.
Zemeckis’ movie has some fantastic animation and special effects but still holds closely to Charles Dickens’ original story of A Christmas Carol.
And of course with Carey as the main star it would be remiss of Zemekis not to include some of his special humour as part of the movie.
While Zemeckis sticks to the Dickens story line, the special effects can appear scary at times but overall everyone in the family will be mesmerised by the amazing action, animation and special effects-as well as learning about the real meaning of Christmas.
The DVD of the movie is technically brilliant and truly beautiful to watch and is by far one of the best adaptations of Dickens’ story, with Zemeckis’ version appearing more dramatic and exciting.
In time for Christmas 2010, Disney has released A Christmas Carol in both DVD and Blu-ray editions with both containing bonus features (including the featurette Capturing Dickens-A Novel Retelling).
VIC'S VERDICT: 5 Rubber Stamps
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