KILLERS

http://www.killersfilm.com/

USA 2010  Directed by: Robert Luketic Written by: Bob DeRosa, Ted Griffin Produced by: Scott Aversano, Jason Goldberg, Mike Karz, Ashton Kutcher  Cinematography: Russell Carpenter  Editing: Richard Francis-Bruce, Mary Jo Markey  Music: Rolfe Kent  Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Katherine Heigl, Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara, Katheryn Winnick, Kevin Sussman, Lisa Ann Walter, Casey Wilson

I do not recall what exactly made me watch KILLERS. I quite do like the my-lover-is-an-agent sub-genre (extending to less “lover” versions like GROSSE POINT BLANK). I thought that a writer who has contributed an episode to a brilliantly raw show like THE SHIELD might be able to elevate a mainstream movie like this to a somewhat higher level. I do think that Rolfe Kent’s music for SIDEWAYS is genius (even they cheated a bit as the by far best song / theme of the movie is an original by Claus Ogermann and Bill Evans that cannot be found on the movie’s soundtrack CD). Finally KILLERS seemed to sport some European flair (never wrong).

Let’s say that once in a while you can actually watch some light mainstream fare like this. Kind of works like a detox program after watching too many extreme movies – you just forget all the serious stuff for a while and soon you’re ready to get your hands dirty again. KILLERS does a good job in that respect: being at least remotely close to tougher versions of this kind of story it is surprisingly watchable. The first forty minutes are very slow and concentrate on humor and romance, but later is works well as a paranoid us-against-the-rest game where everybody could be an assassin, even your closest friend.

Kutcher and Heigl are a good match here and the humor works in most scenes – KILLERS is an action-comedy, at least in the second half when we finally got over the romantic stuff. In its best moments it reminds me of European caper movies, MR. & MRS. SMITH and of course the JAMES BOND franchise. What I liked about KILLERS is that it’s really more of an anti-killers movie – it’s not like some total novice suddenly becomes a cold-blooded killer, and neither do Kutcher and Heigl become a couple of professional assassins. Quite the opposite: they wish not to get involved in any of this, but the only way out is to survive until they are the last (wo)men standing.

Despite this movie taking a lot of beating it is solid mainstream cinema and clearly more enjoyable than many reviews say. Yes, it is very predictable, completely irrelevant and has a 90-minute shelf life. So let’s not talk about art here. But if you suffer from a serious art house and indie movie overdose the KILLERS could be your remedy.

J.


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