Saturday, August 6, 2011

"31 Movies, 31 Days": #2 Killers

Movie: Killers (2010)

Budget: $75 million

Rotten Tomatoes: 11%
Format: Netflix streaming

It wasn't easy to find a film with a lower RT percentage than Skyline, but somehow I did it! And yet, not unlike Skyline, Killers simply isn't as horrible as it's obscenely low rating would suggest. I will not mount as vigorous a defense of Killers as I did Skyline, but 11% falsely implies it's a movie that fails on all levels and is downright painful to watch. That's just not the case. Killers has a few clever lines and a few scenes which work well...just not enough to earn it a recommendation...but still more than enough to say it's not a disaster.

Ashton Kutcher, playing a retired CIA assassin, and Katherine Heigl, as his unsuspecting, tightly wound wife, share only a modicum of chemistry...somewhat of a problem in a romantic comedy I'd say, no? Their interplay is far more entertaining in the second half than the first, but by that point it's pretty much too late. The set-up for the two of them meeting and falling in love is rushed, unbelievable, and very Hollywood. All of that is forgivable, of course, if the jokes work, but most of them fall flat or elicit, at best, a weak smile. The best thing I can say about some of the weaker jokes is that they aren't overplayed. Kutcher in particular seems to know that understatement is the surest way to wring the most out of weak writing (or to draw less attention to it, at least) and provides a surprisingly restrained performance here. Of course, early on, this restraint serves as more of a liability as he comes off largely wooden and stiff---not unlike his chiseled abs which are on display early and often.

The best laughs are provided by the always reliable Rob Riggle. A little bit of Riggle goes a long way, but here we get just the right dose of his aggressive, obnoxious, in-your-face comedy assault. It's a nice counterpoint to Kutcher's understated performance and gives you some hope about half way through that the movie is finally getting its footing. But alas,'s just a good sequence in an otherwise weak movie.

Killers is an action-oriented romantic comedy which is neither funny enough, romantic enough, or thrilling enough. But it's still better than The Bounty Hunter (7% 0n RT), and that's damning praise.

Kraig's Rating: 4/10


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