Thursday, February 3, 2011


Directed by Robert Luketic.
2010. Rated PG-13, 93 minutes.
Ashton Kutcher
Katherine Heigl
Tom Selleck
Catherine O’Hara
Rob Riggle
Alex Borstein
Lisa Ann Walter
Kevin Sussman
Katheryn Winnick
Martin Mull

Ariel Winter

Jen (Heigl) is trying to get over being dumped. To cope, she’s decided to go on vacation abroad with her parents. Not long after the plane lands, she meets pretty boy Spencer (Kutcher). Unbeknownst to her, he happens to be an assassin for some government organization, the blah blah blah as he puts it. Since the two fall head over heels for each other he quits his rather unique job for a chance at normalcy with her. Fast forward three years, the lovely young couple is now married and are very regular suburbanites. Since all of this happens in the first 15 minutes or so, something else has to happen. That something else is Spencer getting a message from his old boss who wants him to do another job. To make a long story short, Spencer suddenly finds himself with a $20 million bounty of his head and just about everyone trying to collect.

Killers does a nice job mixing the action-flick with the romantic comedy. The comedy portion depicts a young couple who’s relationship appears to have hit a plateau, at least in Jen’s eyes. There’s the usual bad advice from her friends, conflicts between her job and personal life, dad and hubby not getting along, etc. Not exactly groundbreaking stuff, but it’s handled decently. On the action side, the scenes are fun, mostly because the people coming after him are hardly your typical bunch of movie goons and henchmen. They’re seemingly normal, if somewhat annoying people. Kutcher’s character helps in this, also. Even though he still looks like an underwear model, his character isn’t quite the Superman that Tom Cruise is in Knight and Day. He gets knocked around plenty actually seems mortal.

On the other hand, Kutcher the actor is problematic. It’s not that he does a bad job. I’m not one of those Ashton haters who just has a disdain for everything he does. It’s just hard to believe that this guy was ever the stone-cold killer he’s made out to be. I hate to keep going back to Knight and Day, but they’re similar and came out about the same time, if I remember correctly. In that one, Cruise is easier to digest as a walking murder weapon. The Tom Cruise persona lends itself to that better. Let’s face it, most of us who don’t practice Scientology think he’s at least a little crazy. The tabloids would have you believe he keeps Katie Holmes chained to a wall in his dungeon. Cruise killing a bunch of people while flashing that winning smile is more believable. Kutcher comes off as the guy from Punk’d or as Demi Moore’s boy-toy. Not quite the same, is it?

A bigger problem than our hero is our villain. Once we find out who is behind all this, we’re not really surprised, yet somehow we also still don’t anything. What happened, and why, to bring us to the point at which we inevitably arrive is never really clear. Of course, this means there is really no solution. More or less, we abruptly get told “Happily ever after, the end.” Sure, that gets us out of the movie, but hardly completes the story.

Killers is actually fun in a non-threatening sort of way, despite all the violence. For the most part, when people die it’s a very 1950s style bloodless death and there are plenty of gags within the action. Heigl, as the damsel in distress/frantic wife is solid, though the chemistry between her and her co-star is lacking. Catherine O’Hara as Jen’s mom has a number of the film’s funnier moments. It won’t make you forget Die Hard, but it has its moments.

MY SCORE: 5/10

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