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Just Shoot Me 

Screwball comedy is supposed to be an even-handed battle of the sexes. But in Killers, Katherine Heigl plays an idiot.

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This could have been a great movie. A CIA killer who needs to hide out latches himself onto the worst example of conformist, childlike womanhood he can find, all the better to lose himself in vapid suburbia, where the Company and his enemies will surely never, ever find him. By the end of the film, the clever, cagey killer is driven so mad by his idiot wife and idiot neighbors and the mind-numbing monotony of perfect lawns and sparkling swimming pools that he willingly goes back to his life of danger and violence out of sheer boredom. Give it to the Coen Brothers, cast Robert Downey Jr. as the assassin and Kate Winslet as the wife, and we’re talking genius-level hilarity.

Instead, it seems, Ashton Kutcher got ahold of this script, cast himself as producer and star and got rid of all the satirical and intelligent stuff, because — pfft — who needs that? Then he brought in director Robert Luketic, who made the execrable The Ugly Truth, and Luketic brought Katherine Heigl onboard, because Luketic and Heigl are totes besties when it comes to setting women back half a century, to the time when women were believed to be nothing more than adorable children and that’s the way it should be.

Here, in what passes, in our sad age, for a screwball comedy, Heigl is a woman-child, still tethered to her parents (Catherine O’Hara and Tom Selleck) in her 30s. And Heigl’s Jen is meant to be appealing! She is meant to represent something that Kutcher’s Spencer has been missing. Spencer actually likes playing suburban house with Jen, an infant with no personality, no friends to speak of, nothing at all, it seems... until — whoopsie-daisy! — a pregnancy scare in the middle of assassin shenanigans upsets things, convincing Jen that nothing is more important than being a mommy.

Oh, yeah, didn’t I mention? Spencer’s past catches up with him, of course, and so, to brutally unfunny “comedy,” add tedious “action” and a level of coincidence that could only be a CIA plot allowing everything to wrap up neatly. Every time you think Killers can’t get more excruciating, it proves you wrong. Perhaps grinding everything to a halt so Katherine Heigl can pee on a stick really was the best diversion the movie could come up with.

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