Killers is pretty much what youd expect a romantic action comedy starring Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl to be formulaic, not particularly good, but serviceable enough that you wont be throwing things at the screen. Its from the school of filmmaking that feels that if you aim low enough, youre bound to reach your mark and create something bland, inoffensive but marketable. And apparently thats preferable to aiming higher, where you might create something great, but theres also a chance youll end up with an absolute stinker.
Kutcher seems to have an incredible nose for these sitcom level movies that demand little from him (and where even so he often under-delivers), and has filled his CV with them for the better part of a decade, while Heigl seems to be following suit and risks ruining a promising film career if she doesnt choose her movies with a bit more care. Thats especially true as neither of them seems right here, despite somewhat playing to type.
Kutcher play a smooth, debonair professional assassin called Spencer, who meets the ditzy Jen (Heigl) while shes on holiday in France trying to get over a break-up. The two fall madly in love with each and get married the only thing being that he doesnt tell her the part where he actually kills people for a living. But maybe it doesnt matter as hes going to give that up to live a normal life with his wife. Cut to three years later, and Spencer and Jens domestic bliss is interrupted when its discovered that someone has taken out a hit of Spencer, and now everyone and their dog is out to kill him.
Cue Heigl shrieking a lot after discover what her husbands former job was, as well as the fact that bullets are flying at her seemingly everywhere she goes. It also turns out most of the people they thought were their white-bread suburban idyll friends and neighbours, are actually sleepers who would like nothing more than to kill Spencer.
Hollywood really does seem to have the lost the art of the screwball yarn, so that while we should watch Killers and just be able to revel in the romance, action and fun, instead its difficult not to keep wondering whether youve completely missed something vital because so little of it makes sense, and its not entertaining enough to completely cover that up. Thats partly due to the fact Kutcher and Heigl lack the chemistry and nous to make the implausible seem fun enough that youre willing to go along for the ride. Instead Kutcher tends to sleepwalk through the film, while Heigl overplays it.
As I said, the movie aims low, so that while theres not a lot of wit, sparkle, humour, romance or action spectacle, theres a small amount of each, so it can tick all the date movie boxes. Its a film that doesnt take enough risks to be a flat-out failure, instead coasting along in a not-loathsome fashion. Youre unlikely to hate it, but similarly Id be surprised if most viewers didnt wish the Killers was a whole lot better than it is.
Overall Verdict: It tick the boxes, but an implausible plot, lack of chemistry between the actors and a seemingly little desire on anyones part to make it more than ok, mean theres little to recommend Killers, but little to hate it for either.
Reviewer: Phil Caine