Killers (2010)

<strong class="MovieTitle">Killers</strong> (2010)

(In theatres, June 2010) Likable actors, a promising high concept, action-packed plotting and the ever-enjoyable absurdity of an assassin trying to settle down in bland suburbia.  What can go wrong?  Well, start by explaining why this so-called comedy struggles so much to earn even indulgent chuckles.  Killers starts slow with an overlong prologue that tells too much and wounds the picture before it even gets going, only to restart again three years later.  Overstaying its welcome before it even starts, this film simply never clicks. It doesn’t help that boy-hero Ashton Kutcher is never believable as a potentially murderous psychopath: even in action sequences, he seems to be preening in front of the camera, too self-absorbed to make us believe in his character.  If you ever want to know what went wrong with Killers, start with the lead casting.  On the other hand, there are a few good actors elsewhere in the movie trying their best to deal with what they’re given: Tom Selleck is great as a moustachioed dad, Catherine O’Hara does what she can as a boozy mom (how droll…) while Katherine Heigl –in-between high-pitched squeals—gives viewers a splendid excuse to look at her in low-cut outfits and gratuitous lingerie.  None of them can save the film, but they rescue it from a complete lack of interest.  The script is about one rewrite away from passable, placing far too much trust in actors who don’t have good comic timing.  With so many problems, it hardly seems fair to nit-pick the plausibility of the plot, the horrible moral evasiveness of the conclusion of the preposterousness of the setup.  The direction isn’t any better, wasting two otherwise promising suburban car chase through lawns and backyard fences.  Killers is so good-natured that it does escape variations on “I hate this movie”, but it’s so bland, unfocused and a waste of its own potential that it can’t even reach the level of a marginal recommendation.

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