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Killers (7/10)

by Tony Medley

Run time

Not for children.

It’s really difficult to give this film such a positive rating because I don’t know when I’ve heard worse dialogue or a more contrived romantic setup. Director Robert Luketic has taken a pathetically weak script with a pitifully contrived romantic setup, and made them into something entertaining. Luketic directed Legally Blonde (2001) and The Ugly Truth (2009). The former was a big hit. I guess I was one of the few who liked the latter. I thought it hilarious.

The setup for the first date between Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) and Jen (Katherine Heigl) is truly ludicrous. When she sees her dysfunctional parents, Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara, looking at the menu at the restaurant where she’s dining with Spencer she dives under the table and makes up a ridiculous story to tell Spencer about why she’s avoiding Selleck. The dialogue between the two goes downhill from there.

Spencer is one of Hollywood’s favorite unrealistic characters, just an ordinary guy who just happens to be a contract killer. But, hey, he’s really a nice guy. So he meets Jen, who is drop dead gorgeous and can’t find a man, further straining credulity. Spencer is so taken with Jen that he decides to retire from his job of killing people and become the ordinary guy he always has been instead of the sociopath he became after he was recruited to kill people. It’s really easy, so long as you are on a Hollywood sound stage.

They marry, move to suburbia, and three years later they find that just about everyone is out to kill them. This is when the movie picks up, even though it never explains how Spencer makes a living. If you can ignore all the plot holes the adventure is entertaining. Most of this is due to two things. The first is that Luketic is a talented director who knows about pace. The second is that Heigl and Kutcher are gratifying and likeable light comedic actors. I like all three of them and I finally enjoyed this movie, despite the script and dismal setup.