Killers (2010) (PG-13)

Review Date: January 7th, 2011

Curse the cretin who gave Ashton Kutcher the idea that he could play anything other than a beautiful doofus. And curse director Robert Luketic, whose action comedy Killers asks us to believe that Kutcher, whose film career should by all rights be confined to searching with Seann William Scott for various hard-to-lose items in straight-to-video continuations of the Dude, Where's My...? franchise, could play a CIA agent.

And a massively competent CIA agent at that. Kutcher's character, Spencer Aimes, is so good at what he does that his employers are none too pleased when he abandons his life of international espionage and settles in suburbia with his new wife Jen (Katherine Heigl), a perky sprite who is blissfully unaware of her husband's former occupation. (Nor is she suspicious -- and why would she be? He's Ashton freaking Kutcher.) But three years into their marriage (which Luketic somehow makes feel like 10), the couple's happy union is imperiled when a $20 million bounty is placed on Spencer's head, and neighbors once thought harmless reveal themselves to be covert assassins. How could an expert CIA operative be surrounded by trained killers for three years and not realize it? Who cares -- look at Ashton's abs!!!

Killers has often been cited as the movie that prompted the notorious "corporate raider" Carl Icahn to mount his hostile takeover attempt of Lionsgate, the studio that produced the film. To be fair, Killers doesn't really become awful until around the one-hour mark. Before that it's merely boring, splitting time between ogling Kutcher's shirtless body and chronicling Heigl's unfunny rapport with Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara (both looking vaguely cadaverous), who play her overbearing parents. Only when the bullets start flying, and Kutcher and Heigl descend into a tortured screwball give-and-take, do Killers' true, hideous colors begin to show.

Let's hope Icahn moves quickly with his takeover, before Lionsgate execs have a chance to give Killers 2 the green light. rated this film 1 star.