I should never write a movie review on an empty stomach, which is exactly what I’m doing now. Too bad because Killers didn’t have enough filler for me to even remotely feel satisfied. I should have taken it as a bad omen that the studio refused to screen it for critics before its release but they cleverly stated that they wanted word of mouth and online buzz to push the ticket sales rather than reviews or standard advertising. Man, that advertising machine duped me. Killers is a completely forgettable experience that made me long for the smart snappy dialogue and chemistry of Carey Grant and Grace Kelly in To Catch a Thief. Instead we are left with tepid performances by Ashton “I look so good I don’t have to act” Kutcher and Katherine “How did I get famous again” Heigl in a film that couldn’t decide if it was a slapstick, dark comedy or drama.
Katherine plays a stunning and smart woman Jen who has recently been dumped by her ugly looking nerd boyfriend and goes on vacation to France for the heck of it with her parents (sounds believable). Ashton plays a covert assassin Spencer on a mission in the same hotel. For some reason they find time to talk and get acquainted for what seems like months (I want that vacation) before getting married. Jen’s dad played by Tom Selek is skeptical of the union while her mom Catherine O’Hara just lets life go by with a scotch in both hands. Thank goodness for O’Hara who seems like the only one having fun in a comedy. Obviously this is her turf and Ashton, Katherine and Tom are all trying to fit in. Unfortunately they don’t.
There is no chemistry in Killers, and did I mention that for a comedy…there’s really none of that. I only laughed out loud at some parts with the mom; otherwise I sat visually perplexed. I even left the theater to go to the bathroom, get a drink and talk to some of the theater staff in the middle of the movie, and when I returned…I don’t think I missed anything. OK, so I may be a little hard on the movie. There are some pretty cool fight scenes, and some of the married couple banter between Heigl and Ashton seems funnier when killing is involved (is that possible?) The scenes in France are gorgeous and everything technically is very professionally done.
Which leads me to my biggest question. How can a film that looks great with great actors in a pretty funny set-up in a gorgeous location end up being so mundane and, well…bad? I have to blame the director on this one. The editing, script, lighting, acting in general was all very sustainable but nothing gelled. None of the parts or characters in Killers seemed cohesive, believable, developed or for that matter relatable and that job falls distinctly on the director. I won’t name him here, but if you do want an undercover crime romance set in France to watch…see To Catch a Thief with a director who knew how to get things right named Hitchcock!
See it now!!!!
See it in theaters!!!
Rent it on DVD/BluRay!!
Wait for it on TV!