Movie Mom

This is not just a bad movie. It is three bad movies. “Killers” is trying to be a romantic action comedy and it fails all three times.

Katherine Heigl plays Jen, on vacation in the French Riviera with her overprotective father (Tom Selleck) and over-drinking mother (a wasted — in both senses of the word — Catherine O’Hara) in after being dumped by her boyfriend. She meets Spencer, played by Ashton Kutcher, who also co-produced, thus explaining the cameo appearance of the camera he sells on TV as well as the loving attention the camera pays to his chest. We know what Jen does not: Spencer is a spy. He kills bad guys but longs for a quiet “normal” life in the suburbs. And Jen, with Heigl delivering a generic “I may be stunningly beautiful but I am insecure and immature so that makes me accessible,” seems just what normal looks like. A little banter and then three years later, they are living happily in a suburban neighborhood, commuting to the office, attending block parties, and making peach cobbler.

And then Spencer’s past catches up with him again when he hears from his old boss and finds out there is a $20 million bounty for anyone who kills him. Spencer and Jen have to go on the run, bickering along the way as though being married to an international assassin was somewhere around the threat level of forgetting to take out the garbage.

The banter is leaden but the bickering is worse. Heigl and Kutcher have anti-chemistry. They seem to repel each other. And then there are the action scenes, soggily staged and with a way over-the-top body count for the movie’s attempt at a light-hearted tone. There’s a flicker of interest in the idea of a complacent suburban community hosting a battalion of killers, but the script fails to take advantage of it. And the ending is so haphazard it seems to have been arrived at by dartboard and so sour it seems contemptuous of its characters and its audience.

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