KILLERS. Starring Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O'Hara. Directed by Robert Luketic. 93 min.
Killers! Mr and Mrs Smith, Knight and Day. There are several precedents for Killers – which is less spectacular than Knight and Day but just as far-fetched and even more absurd, but at suburban level.
Ashton Kutcher looking buffed and burley is Spencer, a spy who wants out, especially when he encounters holidaying Jen (Katherine Heigl) in Nice (where he is about to blow up a helicopter). Romance ensues. Unfortunately, she was soundly asleep when he confesses his profession, so it is more than a surprise to her when, after three years of marriage, his boss contacts him again, is found dead in a hotel, and, suddenly, all the neighbours are out to kill Spencer. The last part of the film is a whopping neighbourhood watch assassination attempt that does defy belief.
With Tom Selleck as Jen’s rather buttoned up, former pilot, father trying to protect her and Catherine O’Hara as her critical mother, nice but in her cups most of the time, there are some amusing moments. Katherine Heigl does a variation on the screen persona that has stood her well recently (Knocked Up, 27 Dresses, The Ugly Truth) and Ashton Kutcher is radiating charm that may or may not attract its targets.
Robert Luketic directs comedies with vigour (Legally Blonde, Monster-in-Law) but all he has to do here is to keep the romantic fluff moving and film the action with pace that might make it momentarily believable.
Fr Peter Malone MSC is an associate of the Australian Catholic Office for Film & Broadcasting.
Out July 29th 2010.