Killers’ first stumbling block? That title, a lame, misleading tag that calls to mind a group of bored execs cheering it on as the winner just so they can beat rush hour to their Malibu beach houses. Killers’ last stumbling block? A frantic, elasticated third act that finds Katherine Heigl shrieking her way through car-chase mayhem and obscenely LOUD gunfights. It’s a sequence so tiresome and risible, it makes what comes become look masterful.
Relatively speaking, mind you. Robert Luketic’s (Legally Blonde) action romcom is built on shaky foundations, its meet-cute set-up beyond perfunctory. In a split second, crack professional spy-assassin Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) decides to trade in his life of glamorous international adventure for one of boring suburban normalcy when he meets Heigl’s kooky, uptight loser-in-love Jen while she’s holidaying in Nice with her smothery parents (Tom Selleck, boring, and Catherine O’Hara, squeezing laughs from her boozy antics). Of course, it’s only a matter of time before the duo’s domestic bliss is shattered by the spectres of Spencer’s past.
Kutcher spends half the running time topless, no doubt after the filmmakers released that only frequent sightings of the star’s chiselled, depilated torso would distract from a performance that contains all the limber expressiveness of a six-foot-three hunk of granite. Heigl doesn’t reveal quite as much, but is required to do some random strolling around in her bra. When she’s not dissecting her marital crisis and taking a pregnancy test while being fired at by multiple assassins, that is.
Still, even in a role that essentially paints her as an infantilised idiot, Killers’ only windfall is offering Heigl a few chances to show what an adept, capable comedienne she can be. But after knocking us sideways with Knocked Up, she’s been locked on a downward trajectory. 27 Dresses and The Ugly Truth were just about forgivable, but if she keeps ducking into material as naff as this, starring yet another hunk du jour on an off day, she’s in danger of disappearing down the rabbit hole.