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Killers

Killers

Review by Cassam Looch

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

SPECIAL FEATURES: Killer Chemistry: Behind The Scenes With The Killers Cast and Crew; Gags; Deleted Scenes; Alternate Scenes; Extended Scenes. Additional extra features on the blu-ray only: D-Box; BD TouchTM; Meta-MenuTM; Lionsgate LiveTM.

WITH AN appalling trailer and overly familiar premise, Killers might be one of the least anticipated films of the summer.

Katherine Heigl might have just used up her big screen ‘credit’ thanks to increasingly poor film choices post Knocked Up and the less said about Ashton Kutcher’s cinematic career, the better… but despite these flaws, director Robert Luketic’s movie manages to somehow work.

Shy and retiring Jen (Heigl) is on holiday with her parents following a messy break-up. Her overprotective father (Tom Selleck) wants to keep a close eye on her, but in one of the rare moments she is alone, Jen bumps into the suave and handsome man of her dreams.

Spencer (Kutcher) seems too good to be true… and he is, with a secret identity as a government assassin threatening to ruin his happiness with Jen. But hope is maintained when he decides to turn his back on his dangerous lifestyle and settles down to a normal life of wedded bliss.

Three years later, and with things seemingly going well, Spencer realises that his old career might not have been so easy to put behind him, whereas Jen begins to worry that her husband is beginning to grow tired of their relationship.

So the film won’t score any marks for originality. It feels very much like a Mr and Mrs Smith clone (minus the A-list stars) and even more alarmingly appears to have a direct competitor in the upcoming Cruise/Diaz blockbuster Knight and Day.

That said, there are a few notable things that work well and hence elevate this above a lot of the dross in this genre.

The stars might not be the biggest names in Hollywood, but they each bring something enjoyable to the table. Heigl plays a pretty yet dumb character and manages to do so without being annoying. Some of her attempts at overplaying the comedy in the script do fall flat, but you have to give her some kudos for continually plugging away and more often than not she gets it right.

Kutcher has a nice line in action-based heroics, and although these scenes are unfortunately sparse, they are convincing. You could imagine him doing something a little bit more Bourne-esque for example, although perhaps a bit more work is needed on the dramatic side of things.

The suburban setting is also wonderfully used in a couple of sequences and Tom Selleck oozes cool as the disapproving father-in-law.

It’s a shame that after a great start, the film drags to get the second act up and running. It takes far too long to give us the set-up of domestic bliss and the sudden shift to imagined and real troubles still manage to feel rushed.

Once the characters get moving again, in the literal sense, then things go back to the sparkling and enjoyable romp that we had been introduced to.

Some of the humour is also misjudged with some quite brutal violence sitting uncomfortably next to standard rom-com fare.

The end product is a passable night of entertainment that should please more than it irritates… and in this genre that is an achievement in itself.

Certificate: 12A
Running time: 100mins
UK DVD & Blu-ray Release: October 25, 2010