If you’re new to FilmDrunk, there’s this game we like to play: take an awful movie we’ll never see, and recreate the plot using only expository quotes from other people’s reviews (no analysis!). My assumption is that these movies will soon be forever lost to history, and future archaeologists will have only these written accounts of their existence with which to piece together what it must have been like when these giant hunks of sh*t roamed the earth. Today’s film is Killers, starring Katherine Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, currently drawing a 0% from the top critics on RottenTomatoes. So what was it about? Let’s find out!
In “Killers” Kutcher plays a CIA superspy assassin who wants out, for the sake of his relationship with a Type A control-freakish ninny played by Katherine Heigl. She played a ninnyish Type A control freak in her previous assignment with director Robert Luketic, “The Ugly Truth.” (ChicagoTribune)
Heigl is newly dumped, Maalox-chomping Jen Kornfeldt, (Variety)
…a cautious, un-spontaneous all-American lass first glimpsed a family vacation in Nice being harangued by her oddball parents (Tom Selleck and Catherine O’Hara) because her overly careful ways have driven away another suitor. (NY Daily News)
She’s so very sad – she was supposed to go there with her cad of an ex. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
Within 10 minutes of checking into her hotel, Jen’s met and madly fallen in love with a topless Spencer in the elevator. The sparks fly! The passion swells! That ultimate abyss, love, opens up! (Philadelphia Inquirer)
We learn long before poor Jen does that Spencer’s pecs weren’t sculpted only at the gym. Deep-sea diving for explosives when his crush isn’t looking, Spencer acrobatically re-emerges on land to plant his high-powered package under the hull of a helicopter (boom!), then meets Jen for drinks at sunset. (Variety)
After a witless date in which Jen seems unhinged, Spence is oddly drawn to her. (NY Daily News) [Weird, that’s what my parents say when I ask them how they met. -Ed.]
Spencer’s mopey face tells us he doesn’t really like killing. Jen, talking to her tightly packed-in breasts (“Stay put!”), tells us she’s into Spencer. (LA TImes)
Ashamed of her control-freak dad (Tom Selleck) and alcoholic mom (a wasted Catherine O’Hara), man-hungry Jen tells Spencer that Mr. Kornfeldt is a “Russian pervert” who has been hitting on her. But soon enough the two gents meet proper and bond over a round of French countryside skeet-shooting, Daddy proving conspicuously adept with a rifle. (Variety) [Foreshadowing!]
One Champagne dinner and a ripped dress later, the couple are married and ensconced in suburbia, with Jen blissfully unaware of her husband’s body-strewn past. At least he doesn’t leave the seat up. (NY Times)
Kutcher quits killing people and starts a construction company. It’s his dream life; as an orphan and a trained killer always on the road, he has yearned to settle down. (Philadelphia Inquirer)
But his CIA antennae go up when his old boss (Martin Mull) shows up dead. He has to spill the beans to Jen, who reacts like Lucille Ball on a lawn mower – that is, lots of screaming and eye popping. (NY Daily News)
They are the denizens of manicured-lawn, wacky co-workers and wackier neighbors, until one of their inner circle tries to kill Spencer. Then another. It seems there’s a $20-million bounty on his head. (LA Times)
One by one, the goofy neighbors turn out to be ruthless assassins with their gun sights set on insubordinate Spencer, who’s unable to keep his wife from entering the line of fire — whereupon she does an awful lot of screaming. (Variety)
The movie unspools requisite scenes of bullets, mayhem, jokes about suburban culture, jokes about home pregnancy tests, and a few more jokes about boobs, spread legs, Internet porn, and other red-blooded aspects of American heterosexuality. (EntertainmentWeekly)
In the course of 100 minutes, Jen is presented as 1) a lonely, uptight loser (disguised by the flawless body and blonde prettiness of the star who plays her) who has been recently dumped by a man; 2) an infantilized adult woman whose parents micromanage her life; 3) a ditzy girl-woman who knows how to wear sexy lingerie but not how to own her sexuality; 4) a competent working woman (she does something corporate that requires her to wear sleek, feminine office-wear) who gets flustered when asked to make an important presentation; 5) a stereotypical girly-girl who unhelpfully screams EEEEEEEEEEE!!! when she and her husband face danger and who demands answers to her questions at really inopportune times like when the couple are being shot at; 6) a woman who’s too gullible; 7) a woman who’s impractical; 8) a female character who chews noisily on junk food in the movie world’s universal lazy symbol for unladylike behavior; 8) a woman who handles a firearm as if it were a snake; 9) a wife who requires ”managing” by her husband; and 10) a female character stapled together with every dispiriting, routinely accepted trait so popular and so soul-killing in the female characters we find in CARCs [Crappy Action Rom-Coms] like Killers. (EntertainmentWeekly)
Aside from its French prologue, a depressing amount of “Killers” takes place in a McMansion subdivision in Georgia, which looks a great deal like the McMansion Georgian subdivision used in the David Duchovny/Demi Moore movie “The Joneses.” (ChicagoTribune)
Okay, okay, we’re already inching towards analysis. Let’s just have someone wrap this up, shall we?
Don’t tell me I’m making too much out of nothing, because the steady drip-drip-drip of nothings like this are killing us all. (EntertainmentWeekly)
A Chinese torture metaphor, perfect. Other critics compared the Killers audience to assassination victims, lobotomy patients, and embarrassed parents, respectively. But it will all be worth it when Keigl (Ashkerine?) win “cutest couple” at next year’s MTV Movie Awards.