Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Killers


Review in a Hurry: Insecure hottie Katherine Heigl meets suave, muscular Ashton Kutcher during a vacation in the South of France, and she marries him swiftly. But nobody's perfect, and his past as a CIA assassin catches up to them three years later in suburbia. Both leads are pretty and charming, but stranded in an action-comedy that's neither exciting nor particularly funny.

The Bigger Picture: Romantic farces depend on conflict. Get a duo that can bicker amusingly rather than irritatingly, throw them into a sticky situation, and you've got the makings of classic screwball. The only screwball here, however, seems to be director Robert Luketic (whose Legally Blonde looks like an all-time classic by comparison), a filmmaker who takes almost an hour to disrupt this happy couple's idyllic life with a dose of attempted murder.

Once Heigl's Jen realizes she's been duped, and Kutcher's Spencer goes on the defensive both in their relationship and against an entire neighborhood's worth of friends-turned-sleeper-agents, there are moments of mirth. The likes of Alex Borstein and Rob Riggle may not seem all that threatening, it's true, but is fun to see Kutcher beat them up.

A similar set-up worked for Mr. and Mrs. Smith because Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie both were able to riff on their earned credibility as actors and action stars. Heigl and Kutcher, on the other hand...

It'd be one thing if they were spoofing their established personas (Unattainable hottie turns out to like fat drunk guys! Stoned prankster is actually an intellectual heavyweight!), but before we can laugh at them comedically undercutting action hero roles, we have to believe that they actually could be action heroes.

This, however, is more along the lines of Billy Ray Cyrus and George Lopez as secret agents backing up Jackie Chan in The Spy Next Door.

What does work here has little to do with the leads, but rather some scene-stealing performances from Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara as Heigl's overprotective parents. Selleck, who famously missed out on being Indiana Jones and never quite made it huge as the action star he might have liked to be, has a blast as the vaguely menacing ex-Marine stepdad whose battlefield training makes his daughter overly paranoid, while O'Hara takes the cliché of the drunk housewife and gives it an added humanity.

A movie solely about those two might have been worthwhile...maybe not sexier, but certainly funnier.

The 180—a Second Opinion: Speaking of Selleck, his few solo scenes with Kutcher have an intensity that is unmatched by any of the latter's moments with Heigl. Somebody get these two their own mismatched buddy movie.

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