Get ready for a wild ride as Lionsgate releases the unpredictable romantic comedy Killers on September 7th to DVD, Blu-ray Disc, Digital Download and On Demand. Led by Hollywood favorites Ashton Kutcher (Valentine’s Day) and Katherine Heigl (Knocked Up), the hilarious action-packed film also stars Tom Selleck (TV’s Jesse Stone: Thin Ice), Catherine O’Hara (For Your Consideration) and Rob Riggle (The Hangover) and was directed by Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth) from a story by Bob DeRosa and a screenplay by Bob DeRosa and T.M. Griffin. The comedy about love, marriage and everything in between comes packaged with to-die-for special features including deleted/alternative/extended scenes, a gag reel and a “Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with the Killers’ Cast” featurette.
Jen Kornfeldt (Heigl) thinks she has found the man of her dreams. He’s smart, charming and funny. So what if he’s also…an international spy? Fresh off of a sudden break-up, Kornfeldt reluctantly accompanies her parents on a vacation to the French Riviera. Unexpectedly, she stumbles upon the perfect guy, the too-good-to-be-true and incredibly handsome Spencer Aimes (Kutcher). After three wonderful years of romance, the newlyweds prepare to celebrate Aimes’ 30th birthday. However, events are cut short when bullets start flying, and his little secret is revealed. Confronting the news head-on, Kornfeldt is determined to discover what else he might be hiding – all the while trying to dodge bullets, keep up neighborly appearances, manage the in-laws, and work out some major trust issues. …And you thought suburban life was easy!
The odds are really stacked against enjoying this movie when you pay attention to the reviews. Not only does it sport an astonishingly low 12% on Rotten Tomato’s via a cornucopia of professional critics, but the fan driven rating systems on IMDb have driven it down to a shocking 4.4 rating. Needless to say my expectations were set very, very low before going into this film and I fully expected to want to shut it off…but thankfully the hour and a half run time meant it was over once it really started to get going. Still, Lionsgate at least made their money back on this production, although for the life of me I’m not sure where the $75 million dollar budget went because this is a decidedly very DTV looking film.
Everyone will rag on the films acting or plot, but I’m more concerned about its action. It pulled off quite a nice confrontation between Rob Riggle and Ashton Kutcher’s characters what with all of the hand to hand combat and car chasing (nice to see Riggle show off his marine training as well—he’s usually just a funny man, and his sudden turn into evil was both surprising and entertaining), but other elements in the film just looked desperately hokey. In particular the truck sequences with Selleck and Kutcher—the green screen was painfully obvious, yet they were just driving through a suburban development, so what the hell?
There were other obviously bad looking bits of green screen trickery, but they seemed to crop up in the strangest of places. Perhaps they shot their budget on all the major action scenes. In any case, the films action had its fair share of mediocrity, but in the end it was probably the highlight of the film as it really lacked any kind of chemistry between the onscreen leads at all. I’m not sure how Kutcher remains looking like he’s just turned twenty, but it didn’t work in his favor here—mainly because you never believed that he and Heigle were a real couple. There was no pull between the two and it seemed as if they were just reading their lines of a prompter. On occasion here were some cutesy moments between the two (particular the Kmart bit…with a random cameo by Usher), but they were fleeting. It seemed like they were more best friends than actually in love with each other.
Then of course there’s the plot…which I’m still not sure makes a lot of sense. Apparently Tom Selleck was the bad guy but…he was ok in the end or something. It was kind of a stupid mess and I’m thankful the left that big revelation until the very end as it would’ve ruined the “excitement” of who was going to be trying to kill Spencer next…even though it turned out to be almost everybody anyway. I never even noticed it until the incredibly rushed ending, but the film had some terrible editing issues, with it flying from scene to scene with very little transition or flow about it at all. It almost seems as if it needed to be kept in the editing room another month or so to fine tune it—it definitely felt like a rough cut.
Despite all of its mediocrity and shoddiness, Killers is still a moderately entertaining piece of action/comedy/romance/whatever. If you’re looking for an even less serious version of Mr. and Mrs. Smith, then this is worth a Rental. If you hated that movie, however, then just avoid this one—it’s basically the same thing but tweaked and executed even more poorly.
Killers arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Lionsgate in a standard Elite Blu-ray case with a plain slipcover (high gloss finish, but other than that it looks identical to the art/case underneath it). Extras are lengthy looking in list, but in fact are quite brief (shocker). Overall it’s a nice looking package presentation, but nothing you’ll be blown away with.
The AVC encoded 1080p 2.35:1 transfer looks quite good for a modern production and includes all the usual hints of environmental pleasantries. Truthfully speaking the best looking part of the film are the scenes in Nice, as the visuals are nice and lush looking. Past that we get into suburban life and, while it still looks nice, it is far from remarkable. This is because this is where the icky green screen comes into effect and nothing shows that off better than a 1080p image. Still, there’s plenty of character/facial/clothing detail to be had throughout the film, so it definitely won’t be something you don’t enjoy looking at anyway.
For the audio Lionsgate packs on a DTS-HD MA 7.1 mix and it’s as deafening as you’d hope. The key moment of exciting audio is the Riggle fight bits, mainly because it moves from fisticuffs and bullets to a car chase, giving us a wide range of sound effects to work with. It’s there you’ll hear the most in the surrounds and the most out of the subwoofer, although LFE output kicks up again back at Spencer’s office, where more guns are pulled and punches are thrown.
• “Killer Chemistry: Behind the Scenes with the Killers’ Cast” featurette
• Gag reel
• Deleted / Alternate / Extended Scenes
So…yeah, not a whole lot there. Featurette is the usual EPK fluff and the deleted scenes are not really all that entertaining. Thankfully the gag reel has some good stuff, but it’s not worth picking up for that alone so like the film this is a designated Rental.
Killers arrives on Blu-ray and DVD on September 7th.