Wednesday, September 08, 2010

616 - Killers review

On the special features for “Killers,” one of the film’s producers says that it was an attempt to capture the sort of charm and romance as seen in pictures with stars like Cary Grant and Katherine Hepburn. Really? Is there anyone, and I mean anyone, who if forced to tell the truth, would compare Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl with Grant and Hepburn?

When watching Heigl interviewed on late night TV, my pal Dustin brought up a valid point: some people, like, say, Christopher Hitchens, could go on a talk show and talk about absolutely anything. Heigl can talk about her dog, how she met her husband, and … that’s it. She’s pretty, but empty, and that’s always reflected in her screen performances. What self-respecting intelligent viewer would ever want her or one of her characters as a friend? Meanwhile, Kutcher has the lady-killer looks, but his acting will always be best suited to the Michael Kelso roles, goofy slackers that are a lot of fun to party with but not a whole lot else. Kutcher’s a world-class assassin, though he looks decidedly uncomfortable with a Glock clasped in his hand, as if afraid a misfire will send the slide soaring into his skull. Anyone who can ascend from Iowan obscurity to household name has to have some brains, though Kutcher has never figured out how translate them into his performances.

So there you have it: Heigl as the finicky, shallow housewife, screaming in terror every time an assassin’s bullet meant for hubby Kutcher soars by. There’s a bit of “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” here, only the woman is certifiably useless, and in the earlier film, the leads actually belonged in starring roles, not showboating for MTV prank shows or paper-thin TV dramas. And “Mr. and Mrs. Smith” at least had the smarts to present its action as a metaphor for marital dysfunction, whereas “Killers” awkwardly merges the romance and action pieces, stumbling from trite arguing to low-intensity shootouts without direction or purpose. It’s a lame attempt to cash in on key demographics of both genders, and another illustration of Hollywood’s mistaken ideas about the marketability of star power.

1.5 out of 5

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