I’ll admit that I haven’t seen a movie starring Ashton Kutcher since Dude, Where’s My Car? (A film I own and consider a guilty pleasure). That being said, I enjoyed Kutcher and Katherine Heigl in the romantic-comedy action-adventure Killers. The film is in the same vein as Knight & Day, Six Days/Seven Nights, and Mr. and Mrs. Smith. It’s a blend of two genres that end up working well together.
Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) has a tiny little secret he “tells” his newfound love, Jen (Heigl) one night while she’s sleeping: he’s an assassin. When he decides to settle down and start a family, his attempts to leave his killer ways behind becomes a little harder than he expected. Will Spencer and Jen be able to find normalcy and keep Spencer’s past in the past? And how will Jen react when she discovers the truth about Spencer’s “other life”?
Once Killers gets going it’s a non-stop adrenaline rush until the end. There’s plenty of action, but you have to wait for a while until it arrives on the screen. Before that there’s a lot of romantic-comedy interplay between Kutcher and Heigl that establishes their relationship as individuals and as lovers.
Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl work well together, but I never really felt that they had the romantic chemistry needed to truly make their characters sizzle on the screen. The same problem can be seen in Knight & Day with Tom Cruise and Cameron Diaz. There’s a sterile feeling to it, which is the opposite of the chemistry and sexual tension that leaps off the screen between Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt in Mr. and Mrs. Smith.
I think the primary reason for this lack of true chemistry is the way the characters are written. We know very little about Spencer (like James Bond), so it’s hard to connect with him on an empathetic level. He’s a killer, he kills for a living, and then he retires to be with Jen. But there’s nothing to ground us as an audience on an emotional level. This is why James Bond never really fell in love, and the one time he did they killed his wife off (see On Her Majesty’s Secret Service).
But this lack of character development has become a trend in many films over the past couple years. We don’t really get to know characters and empathize with them as human beings. Instead it’s action/reaction/explosion/joke with no real sense of who the characters are that we are rooting for or along for the ride with.
One of the highlights of the film is the excellent performance by Tom Selleck (Magnum P.I.) who plays Jen’s father. Selleck delivers so many subtle glances and facial reactions that he steals pretty much every scene he’s in.
Other notable performances include Katherine O’Hara (Home Alone), Alex Borstein (Family Guy), Martin Mull (Two and a Half Men), Rob Riggle (The Hangover), and a surprise cameo that I won’t spoil here. And it really was one of those, “Wow, they got [person’s name] to be in this?” moments.
Special features include: Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with the Killers Cast and Crew; Gags; Deleted/ Alternate/ Extended Scenes; and other cool BD-Live and D-Box features exclusively on the Blu-ray version of the film.
Did I enjoy Killers? Yes, I did. It wasn’t the worst film I’ve ever seen, and it wasn’t the best. It was a middle-of-the-road movie that had some great action and some good comedic moments. If you’re a fan of Aston Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, or Tom Selleck it’s definitely worth checking out.
What did you think of the movie? Leave a comment and let us know!
Killers is available on DVD and Blu-ray September 7, 2010!