Killers is the new action comedy from director Robert Luketic starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl. The film tells the story of Jen (Heigl) who is on vacation with her family when she meets Spencer (Kutcher). The two meet through an awkward encounter in the elevator. A few short scenes and some unconvincing chemistry later, the two are married and living a quiet suburban life.
Not everything is as it seems though. Spencer has a secret, he’s a spy, something Jen is not aware of. Soon enough, Spencer’s past comes back to haunt him and all of the sudden everyone is after him. In a plot reminiscent of True Lies and Mr. and Mrs. Smith, the audience is left to wonder if this is just an uninspired and lame take on an already used concept, or does Killers offer a unique and refreshing experience?
It’s no secret that Heigl and Kutcher are two of the most hated celebrities out there. Their performances, for the most part, are consistently bashed. I’ve never really enjoyed any of Heigl’s performances, save for Knocked Up. Unfortunately Killers doesn’t change my mind about her. She manages to offer another dimwitted, lame and fluffy performance. Her level of chemistry with Kutcher is next to nothing and she really doesn’t bring much to the film.
Kutcher on the other hand is one of the film’s saving graces. Although not a great actor, I do always find his performances enjoyable. He has a certain charm and wit to him that always makes him stand out in movies. The few comedic moments that the film offers are all handled by Kutcher and are delivered well.
A lot of the film’s problems hinge on the fact that Kutcher being a spy/action hero is something that is not easily believed. Heigl, as his inevitable sidekick, is even harder to wrap your head around. At the start of the movie Heigl frequently reminds us that she isn’t spontaneous, is afraid of bungie jumping and is not exciting. Despite all this, she’s thrust into the role of helping Kutcher and we see her running around town taking out bad guys.
See-sawing between being angry at Kutcher and wanting to help him, the only thing Heigl convinces us of is her bad performance. Killers asks the audience to buy the fact that these two are action heroes. Unfortunately, the only thing we end up buying is the cheesiness the movie sells.
The film offers some strong supporting performances, especially in Rob Riggle, yet none of the supporting roles really have much room to showcase their talents. Tom Selleck also offers a nice performance, but once again, as a supporting role in the film, there really isn’t much he can do.
The plot is hazy and never really comes together, despite the predictability of the whole thing the audience is never sure why exactly things are happening. The whole ‘revealing a new killer every 5 minutes’ deal got old and felt more like a last ‘hurrah’ by the writers in attempts of engaging the audience.
Robert Luketic, while he may have an eye for charm and romance, is not an action director. The action scenes here look like they’re straight out of a high school film class and they all have a certain awkwardness to them. Perhaps it is the lazy script and its ignorance of following logic. Either way, not even the direction can hold together the substance-less plot. The movie falls apart in the second half and goes from bad to worse.
Killers bills itself as an action comedy, both of which it offers very little of. While the cliches and predictability overshadow most of the action and comedy it isn’t a total flop.
Kutcher has a few good scenes and Selleck and Riggle are entertaining in their limited screen time. Despite the rampant amount of ridiculousness that ensues as the film progresses, if you leave your brain at the door you just may be mildly entertained.
While it’s certainly not a movie to write home about, the film manages to offer enough mindless laughs and fun to somewhat entertain even the most cynical of us.
Killers was released on June 4th, 2010