Blu-Ray Review: Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher in Narcoleptic ‘Killers’

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CHICAGO – When “Killers” didn’t screen for critics, we assumed that it was because it was an insipid, horrid mess and that Lionsgate didn’t want to let audiences in on that fact before stealing their hard-earned cash. Watching it on Blu-ray, I was surprised that it didn’t screen because it’s not “Marmaduke”- or “Macgruber”-bad. It’s just shockingly boring. Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0
Blu-Ray Rating: 2.0/5.0

“Killers” plays like three movies in one and all of them were woefully underdeveloped. In the first movie, a suave assassin named Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) meets the awkward Jen (Katherine Heigl) while she’s on vacation with her parents (Tom Selleck & Catherine O’Hara). The pathetic-but-beautiful Jen falls for Spencer and he leaves his life of murder behind for one of domestic bliss.

Killers was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Septemebr 7th, 2010
Killers was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Septemebr 7th, 2010
Photo credit: Lionsgate

The shockingly-long second film features Jen and Spencer in suburbia. So, we get scenes of Jen dealing with obnoxious neighbors and Spencer trying to hold down a day job while also looking to impress his morose father-in-law. It’s hard-to-believe how much “Killers” spins its wheels in this second act as we’re expected to be concerned about Jen and Spencer’s marital problems and be interested in their “normal life.”

Killers was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Septemebr 7th, 2010
Killers was released on Blu-ray and DVD on Septemebr 7th, 2010
Photo credit: Lionsgate

When the film finally does get to the “action” promised by the title at around the hour-mark, it slightly improves by trying to destroy the suburbia set up by the second act but it doesn’t do so nearly effectively enough. It turns out that there’s a bounty on Spencer’s head and suddenly everyone in their life becomes a potential killer. The only clever idea in the film is that the annoying jerks who live in your neighborhood could be hired killers but it’s not nearly developed enough.

Which is the problem with the entire film. The romance, the action, the mystery — none of it is developed to the point that it’s interesting. It certainly doesn’t help that Kutcher and Heigl have zero chemistry and that the lovely actress has once again been given an annoying non-character, a woman who comes off as boring for the first half and bothersome for the second half. Like a lot of romantic comedies, it’s impossible to see what the male lead would see in this shallow broad other than her looks. And it’s downright misogynistic to turn her into even more of a cliche in the final act by giving her hormonal issues related to a surprise pregnancy. As if she wasn’t cartoonish enough with her reactions to her husband’s hidden past, now she has the eating habits of a pregnant woman. How pathetically shallow. Imagine if she was revealed to be as strong and charismatic as her world-travelling husband. Sadly, that’s not the case with this cliched script.

Kutcher makes it out relatively unscathed (as he often somehow does) but with “The Ugly Truth” and now “Killers” in back-to-back summers, Heigl needs to seriously consider her choices in scripts or risk aggravating enough audience members to become box office poison. Find a real character before signing on to another cookie-cutter romantic movie. You’re on at least strike two.

The Blu-ray release of “Killers” is as mediocre as the film itself. The HD video and audio are satisfactory but the collection of deleted and alternate scenes make clear that this was a project in flux from the beginning. It wasn’t screened for critics and it shouldn’t screen for you either.

Special Features:
o “Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with the Killers Cast and Crew”
o Gags
o Deleted/Alternate/Extended Scenes
o BD Touch and Metamenu Remote Enabled for iPhone/iPod/iPad Interactivity
o Lionsgate Live

“Killers” stars Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, and Catherine O’Hara. It was written by Bob DeRosa and T.M. Griffin and directed by Robert Luketic. It was released on DVD and Blu-ray on September 7th, 2010. It is rated PG-13 and runs 100 minutes. content director Brian Tallerico

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