We’re nearly halfway through 2010 and when this time rolls around I like to reminisce back on my time at the movies and pick out what I think are some of the best and worst so far. If this first half of the year is characteristic of the second, romantic comedies will adorn most of my worst of the year list. The Back-Up Plan, The Bounty Hunter, Leap Year, all deserve a spot on that not-so-coveted list. Now you can add Killers to it, a movie so bad it manages to screw up three different genres in one fell swoop. Part romance, part action and part comedy, this thing is neither romantic, exciting nor funny. Killers fails on every conceivable level.
Katherine Heigl plays Jen, a recently single woman who is on vacation with her parents to Nice, France. There she meets a muscular, handsome fellow named Spencer, played by Ashton Kutcher. Little does she know, he’s actually a killer spy on a mission. However, he falls in love with her so hard he pulls himself out of the game and marries her. Three years later they live in a neighborhood where cops evidently don’t exist and everybody is a contract killer. You see, a 20 million dollar bounty has just been put on his head and his neighbors are coming out of the woodworks packing heat. Who is friend and who is foe? Revealing all of his secrets to Jen, he must figure out what is going on and who is behind it all.
Let’s just put this out on the table. Ashton Kutcher is one of the least convincing killer spies in the history of cinema. He couldn’t pull this role off if he had taken acting lessons from Humphrey Bogart. Taking cues from the Bond films, he tries to play the suave, sexy type, but his looks are too boyish to work. Instead of coming off as charming and sophisticated, it feels more like he should be lining the pages of Calvin Klein underwear magazine ads.
The fact of the matter is that Kutcher is an offensively bland actor. Outside of the recent Valentine’s Day where he, surprisingly enough, charmed me, he seems out of his element unless acting out lunacy. He belongs in things like Dude, Where’s My Car? and the tough guy technique he tries to put on in this thing is laughable.
Which is more than you can say for the rest of the movie, which elicits a grand total of one laugh, and even then you can argue the validity of it. Was it actually funny or was I so desperate for a chuckle by the end that I couldn’t help but crack up? It’s tough to say.
Then you have the embarrassing action scenes that utilize that damned shaky cam technique to make everything look more hectic than it really is, most likely due to the inability of the cast to simulate an actual fight.
I suppose the one saving grace of Killers is that the characters aren’t deplorable. Compared to their roles in movies like What Happens in Vegas and The Ugly Truth, Kutcher and Heigl play relatively likable people who want to live normal lives, but are forced into a mysterious game of life and death, though likable may not be the best adjective. Tolerable, maybe. Whatever you want to call them, they’re nevertheless wrapped in an inane plot and forced to spit out some of the lamest, most harebrained jokes this side of Did You Hear About the Morgans?
Lots of people wanted to kill Kutcher in this film and you’ll see plenty of bullets fly at the screen. Don’t be surprised if you start to wish one of those bullets would break through and put you out of your misery.
Killers receives 0.5/5