Film review: Killers

2010 – 100mn – 12A

Directed by Robert Luketic. Starring Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara.

Review by Walter Nichols

This week sees the entirely unoriginal Killers open in cinemas. In the vein of Mr & Mrs Smith, the film sees single Jen (Katherine Heigl) meet the ideal man, Spencer (Ashton Kutcher), while on holiday in the south of France. It’s love at first sight, and three years later they are married. What Jen doesn’t know, is that Spencer is a government assassin – and even though he retired after meeting her, there’s now a bounty on his head, and any of their friends and neighbours may be sleeper killers contracted to take them out…

Killers bombed on its US release, but DVD sales are bound to pick up once sadists and torturers hear of it. Watching it is an excruciating experience. It is the rare film that has absolutely no redeeming features. It feels written by the proverbial monkey with a typewriter, only it’s not even a very talented monkey we’re talking about; and the whole thing is imbued with such self-importance that it’s hard to feel anything towards it other than loathing. Director Luketic obviously thinks he’s making a witty, light Cary Grant affair; so he floods every scene with too much south of France aerial footage, too much swinging music, too many golden sunsets – forgetting that what he has none of is, in fact, wit or lightness. The plot manages to be both nonsensical and predictable, and all the “jokes” (if you can call them that) put together barely elicit a chuckle.


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Ashton Kutcher, to be fair, is just as much to blame as anyone, as he’s the film’s producer as well as its star. On the performance end he proves, again, that his acting range is non-existent. He might be funny in silly comedies like Just Married or That 70s Show, but he absolutely can’t pull off layers. His thespian skills are limited to squint for serious, talk fast and loud for funny. Here we’re meant to buy him as a Bourne-like government hitman, but what he most resembles is a pouty, self-satisfied frat boy. Katherine Heigl is better, but her character is little more than a smug, one-dimensional nag – which, unfortunately, is starting to become her stock in trade.

The trailers and ads for Killers may make you want to see it. Trust me – don’t.

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