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Killers: Ashton Kutcher, licensed to smirk

Heigl and Kutcher in Killers: There may be some laughs in there somewhere, but not many of them are making it to the screen.

1 out of 4 stars



Directed by Robert Luketic

Written by Bob DeRosa and Ted Griffin

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Starring Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck and Catherine O'Hara

Classification: PG

Ashton Kutcher's memoirs could be entitled Enter Smirking. The actor always appears with a satisfied grin, as if something funny happened in the wings. So here's an idea: Maybe filmmakers should shoot what Ashton's up to off-camera, because not many laughs are making it to the screen.

His latest, Killers, is a another flyweight comedy. Disappointed in love, Jennifer (Katherine Heigl) joins her parents on French holidays. She meets cute-with-sexy Spencer (Kutcher) in an elevator. Jen's got an upset stomach. He's wearing swim trunks lower than his sexy French murmur.

Poof - tummy all better. Jen and Spencer marry, moving to a perfect, leafy suburb. All's well until Jen comes home to find Spence choking a psychopath. "Let's just say I work for the blah-blah-blah," he explains, "and they gave me a license to blah."

Okay, so her husband is a CIA killer. Jen can accept that. Except that's not the bad news. Turns out someone has a contract out on Spencer. Jen, too, probably.

If Killers were as crazy as it sounds, the film might have been a riot. But it's more silly than anything. And safely old-fashioned, nostalgic for Rock and Doris horseplay.

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There's fun to be had. Catherine O'Hara plays Heigl's mother and chugalugs vodka throughout, enduring her square-bottomed Republican husband (Tom Selleck). More good news: Heigl does a perfectly acceptable simmering boil - Doris Day's specialty. And Kutcher has Rock Hudson's waxy mannequin looks. Better still, like Rock, he seems incapable of taking romantic comedies seriously.

What this movie needs is a Frank Tashlin or Norman Jewison, filmmakers with a sense of mischief, which is what made for Day's best comedies. Unfortunately, director Robert Luketic merely makes his stars look good - as if his job is carving a cute couple on a wedding cake.

Special to The Globe and Mail

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