Ashton Kutcher’s Killers is about as generic as action-romance movies can get. It features short bursts of cool scenes mixed in with a tired script, bad acting, and flat chemistry between the leads. The laughs are few and far between and the romance angle is never believable; not even for a second. So does that mean the movie is a complete wash?
Jen (Katherine Heigl) is a recently single girl who goes on vacation to Nice, France with her parents to forget all her troubles. Meanwhile Spencer, an undercover CIA operative, is on an assassination mission which also happens to take place in Nice. The two have a fateful encounter in an elevator that ends with the pair being smitten with each other. They have flirt, have dinner, and get married shortly thereafter. In fact, I’d say it’s a little too short because the film doesn’t really build up chemistry between the two or show the lapsing of time. Instead it just picks up three years after the fact.
Spencer has attempted to quit his old gig and go legit by running a construction business. Jen has no clue he used to be an assassin, however, their quiet suburban life changes when Spencer’s old boss contacts him for a new job. Soon people in his life he thought were friends turn out to be assassins for hire, attempting to collect on a twenty million dollar bounty. His co-workers and neighbors go out of their way to put a bullet in his head. Naturally Jen walks into this part of his life and things get messy from that point on.
Jen goes along for the ride and accepts the assassin part of Spencer’s resume a little too easily. It’s handled tongue in cheek with jabs and jokes about their marriage peppered in between. It’s kind of painful to watch in parts and the plot only gets worse towards the end when additional predictable elements are dropped into the film. The finale is even worse and makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. There’s no clean resolution and no adequate explanation for what happened. The film just kind of ends on a “huh” note.
It’s unfortunate that just about everything about Killers deadpans. Starting with the script, which is simply not good, the movie snowballs from one plot hole to the next. Weak dialogue, lackluster jokes, and twists in the story just never materialized in a way the producers of this film thought they would. Heigl is completely underutilized here and she has virtually no presence on the screen. Kutcher isn’t strong enough for a lead roll, and when the two are on the screen together it’s just awkward and flat. For having such a small roll in the film Tom Selleck actually stands out with the best performance, and that’s not saying much.
Ultimately Killers is a rental at its best. The movie is entertaining in pieces with some nice action and light personality, but neither is strong enough to overcome stilted acting and a terrible script.
On Blu-ray Killers is presented with a full 1080p high definition with its original 2.35:1 aspect ratio and AVC encoding. The film looks very good with nice saturation, vibrant colors, and plenty of contrast to liven things up a bit. Image definition is definitely one of the feathers in Killers‘ cap. The picture maintains a nice level of detail with hair, textures, and fabrics all appearing with plenty of distinction. A few moments here and there are softer than others, and some scenes just don’t look as crisp, but by and large this is a great looking transfer.
The English 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track gives a nice workout during shootouts, chases, and fight scenes. The track makes fine use of the soundstage and crafts a solid sense of immersion for viewers. Sound, music, and dialogue is free of flaw and all are crystal clear as one would expect. Dialogue is mostly front-centric with sparse moments of rear channel utilization, however, ambient noise and aforementioned action sequences steal the show. Alternatively there’s a French 5.1 Dolby Digital track available as well. English and Spanish subtitles are included on this disc.
For bonus features Killers offers up a limited gag reel that delivers laughs about as well as the film does. There is also a selection of deleted, alternate, and extended scenes which also don’t necessarily expand upon the film, characters, or story. Hence the deletion. An eleven minute Behind the Scenes featurette is included here with some production shots and commentary from the cast and crew. It’s kind of a fluffy piece, but worth checking out if you pick up the film. The Blu-ray also features some live features such as weather, time, news, and access to ringtones.
If you’re in the mood for an action-romance, Killers fits the bill for a rental when you’ve exhausted other resources. Elements of the movie are fairly entertaining and some of the action sequences offer some excitement. It’s just a shame that the rest of the film couldn’t have been tied together better. Stiff acting, bad chemistry, and a dry script simply take down what could have otherwise been a good experience. Fortunately a solid presentation on Blu-ray stands out as a saving grace.