Written by: Bob DeRosa, Ted Griffin
Directed by: Robert Luketic
Starring: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara
In this day and age, the standard of fluffy rom-coms has sunk so low that any film of that type that doesn’t leave me fuming and offended as I leave the cinema gets a tremendous amount of goodwill from me. It sounds like the easiest thing to do; make a silly piece of brain candy that is so fun and silly that you forget that it has no cultural or artistic value whatsoever. Well, unfortunately, if recent memory serves me (and believe me, it does, vividly) there have been some absolutely horrific examples of the genre in the past year. Killers, fortunately falls into the former category of inoffensive nonsense that provides giggles, thrills and a good spirit.
Killers opens with lovelorn Jen (Heigl) on holidays in Nice with her parents, disturbingly comic alcoholic Catherine O’Hara and protective and stern Tom Selleck. As they check into their hotel she meets half-naked Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) and, as any woman would, falls head over heels in love with him. What she doesn’t know is that he is a CIA hitman who is in town on a mission to blow up a helicopter. However, soon after he meets Jen he decides he wants a clean slate and quits the CIA forever. Soon they are married and loving every minute of each other and their life. However, it isn’t long before Spencer’s old life catches up with him.
This film is not very inventive, nor does it tickle the funny bone as much as it could but it really is an enjoyable romp with a genuine sense of good intentions. The chemistry between the leads is great and, as a couple, the characters match well enough for the audience to engage with them. Heigl is a bit bland as always but she is likeable enough as the vulnerable and fastidious Jen. However, it is surprisingly Ashton Kutcher who provides the warm heart of the film. We all knew he could achieve levels of comic genius at time with his portrayal of lovable moron Kelso in That 70’s Show, but who knew he could give an underwritten character like Spencer some depth. There is a pleasant mix of heroic integrity and underlying sadness to Spencer, and this lends the film some subtle but much-needed poignancy. I suppose one of the most admirable things about this film is that it allows the audience to feel for Spencer but without falling into the third act sap trap.
This is a silly film, with nothing much to say. It is 100% fluff and doesn’t pretend to be anything else. But Ashton Kutcher proves a likeable leading man and a pretty cool action hero, which raises this to the status of decent popcorn movie. Do not expect anything inventive with this film, but take it for what it is and you might just have a great time!
- Charlene Lydon