The Film: Wild Target – UK
In some ways it’s unbelievably unique but there’s an easy predictability that makes it a pleasure to watch. Chief among these reasons is Emily Blunt, whose character is a wonderful mess of contradictions.
It also pokes fun at hit-man tropes which takes it beyond a standard sense of storytelling — the filmmakers are clearly in on the jokes but it never stops the story from progressing. Rupert Grint, whose character stumbles into the story, is a great addition to the dynamic. The odd trio really make this intelligent viewing.
None of their parts would work alone, it’s a really humorous combination of individual goals and they’re complex enough to be funny without weighing the comedy down. Writer Lucinda Coxon does an excellent job making Rose feel like an equal member in the story which doesn’t happen in many comedies like this. The relationship between Victor and Rose is certainly unique with a little depth toward the end that’s both sweet and grounds the film enough to make it satisfying.
There are problems. The bad guy played by Rupert Everett, is too over the top to be enjoyable. There certainly wasn’t enough time spent on getting the right balance from the character and by the time Martin Freeman rolls around there’s not much else they can squeeze from that plot. At times the editing seems ungraciously choppy, as if they were going for lean but ended up removing the connective tissue. Toward the end the taught sense of humor disappears and the tone runs amok. There’s a brief moment reminiscent of Hot Fuzz but it doesn’t fit the personal side of the story, which is actually the more interesting.
I’ve refrained from encapsulating the plot here as it really takes such little effort to watch that I don’t want to give much away. The real meat of the story, though it is lean, is better left for you to discover as it’s quite amusing. The lack of seriousness to the black-comedy makes it all the more enjoyable when the more interpersonal moments are in play.
It bodes well for a film if you laugh more the second time you watch it and this one has it. If you enjoy British comedy, and who doesn’t, it’s a winner.
The Food: Orange Cranberry Popcorn
Inspired by this recipe, I added orange juice to the sauce which was genius. The warmth plumps the cranberries, the crunch of the popcorn gives that yummy cookie feel, and the soft coating makes it melt in your mouth.
- 1/4 cup corn kernels
- 1/3 cup brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 tablespoon orange juice
- citrus zest, to taste
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/2 cup orange flavoured cranberries
Make the popcorn according to your favorite method. I recommend a dry pop. Remove the unpopped kernels and place the popcorn and cranberries in a large mixing bowl.
On medium heat melt the butter, sugar, vanilla, honey, orange juice, and zest. I suggest going heavy on the zest because the bright flavour cuts through the sweetness. You can even add more to the popcorn itself.
Let the mixture foam up. Unlike other caramels, this should only cook about 5 minutes. There should still be a liquidy look to the mixture.
(The cookie taste comes from the proportion of baking soda. If you want to, you may cut it to 1/4 teaspoon.)
Add the baking soda and stir to make it puff up. Pour immediately over the popcorn and mix together to coat. Serve warm! It’s incredible.
I didn’t test baking it to dry the coating but you’re welcome to. It would also be great with additions like candied ginger, nuts, or cinnamon.