Jen Yamato
Killers Review

Jen's Rating:

2.0

Silly suburban spy-jinks

Who's In It: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O'Hara, Rob Riggle, Martin Mull, Alex Borstein, Casey Wilson, Lisa Ann Walter, Usher Raymond

The Basics: Katherine Heigl is Jen, an uptight woman with a super boring life thanks to overprotective parents (Catherine O'Hara and Tom Selleck) who've taught her to err on the side of caution in everything she does. Ashton Kutcher is Spencer, a dashing covert assassin who longs to leave his 007 existence behind for the stable, boring 'burbs. When the two meet cute in a resort hotel elevator in the south of France, it's love at first sight, kinda, and Spencer soon leaves his secret career behind to marry Jen and do construction in upper middle class Georgia. Three years of suburban bliss later, things feel a little stale in the marriage department -- so it's a good thing someone's trying to kill these two crazy kids! Between car chases, shootouts, knife fights, karate showdowns, and pregnancy tests, Jen and Spencer work out their marital troubles, learn new things about each other, and prove the old adage: the couple that shoots bad guys together, stays together.

What's The Deal: Are you ready for this? Are you sitting down? Killers is not terrible. It's not the worst motion picture ever to be inflicted upon humanity. I mean, it's no Furry Vengeance. In fact, the theater full of weekend moviegoers I saw it with seemed to float out on clouds of contentedness, no doubt thanks to the dreamy gift from Hollywood heaven that is Ashton Kutcher's pretty little face, or the script, laden with a smattering of universal truths about male-female relationships. (Plain and simple, no woman wants to hear that she has her mother's arms.) But while Ashton's dimples and abs are lovely to look at, and Katherine's putting her all into her well-worn neurotic female routine, the two together have such forced chemistry that it's hard to believe they'd ever fall in love, much less stay married in blissful blah-dom. Worse than their chemistry, however, is the pacing: just as I was getting ready to start thinking about caring about these two (it was somewhere around the third assassin fight to the death, after the break-up and make-up, and the random Usher-as-a-Kmart employee cameo), the movie ended. I mean, it just ended -- the villain revealed, plot wrapped up, happy endings for everyone, roll credits. So much silly, perfectly amusing nothingness had flitted by in the span of 90 minutes.

The Vibe It Goes For Before Segueing Into Boring Suburban American White People Action-Comedy: A jaunty '60s-ish French Riviera caper vibe, which director Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth, Legally Blonde) films like he's making Ocean's Twelve along the sparkling coast of Nice, France. If only Killers had stayed in gorgeous Nice, with its jeweled oceans and romantic settings, instead of dropping us unceremoniously into tract housing snoozeville, that sense of glamour and fun might have rubbed off more on the rest of the film. At other times, Killers hearkens to another bygone cinematic mood, as Heigl and Kutcher serve up light domestic bickering and non-explicit sex banter reminiscent of an old Doris Day-Rock Hudson rom-com, minus the chemistry. If you know your Rock Hudson lore, you know that's really not a compliment.

The Actors I Most Wanted To See Die (Spoiler Alert): MADtv's Alex Borstein and Saturday Night Live's Casey Wilson. The killers in Killers are almost all played comedians/comic actors (so that it's funny when they reveal themselves!), but Borstein and Wilson make their characters so especially annoying they immediately rocketed to the top of my list of people in the movie I'd most like to see offed in violent, PG-13-bloody fashion. Second runner up: Rob Riggle, who's funny but gets negative points for being in Furry Vengeance.

Admittedly, I Had Expected Much Worse: Something along the lines of two hours of the suave, museum-hopping Ashton Kutcher from those digital camera commercials mixed with Katherine Heigl limping around in kitten heels whining about guns while holding one daintily between her thumb and forefinger like she does on the poster. It was only like that part of the time.

And One More Thing: Why did Heigl's neurotic, relationship-challenged wuss of a character have to be named Jen?? Sigh. Cool female characters are never named Jen. Is it too late to change Angelina Jolie's kick-ass spy lady name to Jen Salt?

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