Hollywood Screenwriting Directory

Killers: Shoot Me Now

Men of the world, I have a message for you. Your date will never wear a dress so tight it causes her to go into a claustrophobic episode. Furthermore, you will never need to cut that dress off of her body with your huge knife to subdue the attack. Unless your name is Ashton Kutcher and you enjoy producing and starring in really bad films...it's just not going to happen. Sorry.

Yes, that gem of a scene appeared in Lionsgate's new film, Killers. Directed by Robert Luketic, the movie tells a story you already know. Spencer (Ashton Kutcher) and Jen (Katherine Heigl) fall in love and get married. Three years later, their suburban lifestyle is interrupted by the revelation that Spencer used to be a spy. The couple must now endure various assassination attempts while working on their marriage. Five minutes into Killers I found myself wishing that I was watching True Lies instead. An hour into it and I was pining away for any other movie...I would have even taken Letters to Juliet. My head lulled in the theatre as I fought to pay attention.

 

When I returned home after Killers, I sat down and flipped open my professional looking notebook. I then realized that I only wrote down two things about the movie. The first note I made was the word, "weird". This is how I would describe the movie...weird...and not the good kind of weird. The kind of weird that made me have questions like: Where are we? Did that lady just get impaled on a deer antler chandelier? Was that supposed to be funny? Was that Usher selling pregnancy tests at K-Mart?

It's hard to say what the film was trying to accomplish. I suppose it was trying to be a comedy, but failed miserably with lame jokes. It tried to be an action flick, but instead only had a few oddly grotesque assassination attempts. It wanted desperately to be fun and romantic. I suppose that was accomplished if you consider killing people "fun" and listening to Kutcher boss his wife around "romantic". Ultimately, it tried to be so many things that it ended up being one huge mess of cinematic rubbish.

The second and final note I wrote was "stupid girl".

You can give me the classic girl-so-indie-because-she-carries-around-a-Polaroid-camera-so-every-guy-wants-to-marry-her. You can even give me the spandex-wearing-big-boobed-gun-wielding-action-hero-bombshell. These women I will accept, and at times even like and enjoy...but Kathrine Heigl's character? I hated her. I mean, I really hated her.

When creating a female lead in a movie like Killers, "dumb" and "weak" should notbe her driving characteristics. Jen proved to be both. First, when Spencer ruins her dress with the knife she exclaims "Don't worry! Daddy will pay for it!". How independent. Second, throughout the movie she timidly dangles a glock in front of her like it's covered with an infectious disease and refers to it as a "glot". How cute. Finally, she constantly follows the orders of her husband. I don't know about you, but if I had no idea my husband was a spy and I came home to him attempting to kill a friend of ours, I would have some questions. Not Jen. Her husband barks at her to go get some duct tape from the basement and she obeys with her big doe-eyes.

But Jen shouldn't get all the hate. Spencer deserves some too. Apparently, even the fact that you used to be a super secret spy doesn't make you an interesting person. The dullness of the character can be attributed to both the writers and the actor. There was no cool back story behind him and his lines lacked any kind of personality. Kutcher brought nothing to the part except his good looks. I actually started laughing when he delivered the intended serious confession of "I kill people". Really Ashton, just because you can star in a movie in which you get to be a spy, doesn't mean you should.

I did like some of the characters in the movie, but unfortunately they didn't take away from the overall atrocity of the film. Jen's dad is played by Magnum P.I. himself, Tom Selleck. His role is fun and there were a few good jokes about his mustache. Jen's mother is played by Catherine O'Hara who redeems her role as a drunkard. I found myself daydreaming in the theatre about the movie centering around O'Hara and Selleck instead of Kutcher and Heigl...now that would have been fun.

The lack of notes and unavoidable daydreaming episodesare a testament to the boring nature of Killers. Usually, I would be irritated that I didn't write down any material about the movie, but in this case I think it sums up the film perfectly: Killers is a weird story about a stupid girl and her boring husband.