Saturday, June 5, 2010

Film Yap: Killers

If we believe the characters, we can believe the movie. There are many movies with absurd premises that are quickly accepted because the crux of the movie is centered around relatable people. That is why The Truman Show succeeds and Killers fails.

On route to a vacation in Nice, France Katherine Heigl’s Jen keeps talking about how she never takes any chances or risks. She couldn’t go bungee jumping because she’s afraid she’ll throw up in public. Her parents, played by Catherine O’Hara and Tom Selleck, thinks she just needs to find a nice guy in France and everything will be just dandy. What do you know! Truly within the first few minutes her elevator door opens and there is Spencer, a shirtless Ashton Kutcher. (Since Spencer doesn’t seem to have a last name, is this supposed to be a Robert B. Parker reference? They know that Spenser is a detective, right?)

Despite the lack of chemistry or personalities, they spend the day together where she makes up stupid lies for no particular reason. At the end of the night she admits the truth and so does he. He reveals he’s a hired killer and a superspy. Oh, but she fell asleep and didn’t hear it! Silly Jen.

Three years later they are happily married and he’s out of the business. Until his old boss (Martin Mull) resurfaces and is swiftly murdered. Then it turns out everyone in their suburban lifestyle are sleeper assassins hired there to one day kill Spencer. What the hell?

So why would dozens of trained assassins agree to that? That’s not clear, but what is clear is that nobody in this movie is a good spy. Kutcher is never believable as an American James Bond figure. In the beginning he has to blow up a helicopter so he puts a very noticeable bomb to the bottom of the vehicle. It’s as subtle as those code movements in 21. (Hey, same director!) There is also a dramatic moment in the film when his wife asks him how many people he’s killed throughout his long career and he slowly says…14. Is that supposed to be a punchline? Jack Bauer doubles that number from 2 to 3 AM most days.

There is nothing new to see because the movie hopes you’ve seen better movies of these sorts. There is nothing new to say about the spy or married lifestyle and in comparison this entire movie just seem incompetent.

Every action scene is dull and repetitive. One of their friends walks in, say some dialog, but OH NO they’re actually an assassin too! They play the same trick over and over again but without any of the irony seen in Hot Fuzz. The scenes aren’t even that threatening because most of the assassins are played by comedians. I think Rob Riggle is hilarious, but I’m not worried for my hero when he wields a knife. Ultimately when everything is said and done the conclusion is incredibly stupid and the lack of resolution is actually a bit insulting.

The movie is very boring and it takes forever for the plot to actually get going. Of course once it does, the holes become more and more apparent. The only saving grace in the entire film is knowing that O’Hara will always have a clever way to deliver her dialog. Even though it seems like she’s mocking her own film at times…

1.5 Yaps

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