Killers (2010)

Rated: PG-13 for violent action, sexual material and language.
Length: 93 minutes
Grade: B-CCF=C+
Budget: $75 million
Box Office: $ million (47 U.S., 44 Intl., DVD)

Written by: Bob DeRosa (The Air I Breathe) and Ted Griffin (Rumor Has It, Matchstick Men, and Ocean’s Eleven)
Directed by: Robert Luketic (The Ugly Truth, 21, Monster-in-Law, Win a Date with Tad Hamilton!, and Legally Blonde)
Starring: Ashton Kutcher and Katherine Heigl
With: Tom Selleck, Catherine O’Hara, and Martin Mull.

When a CIA assassin falls in love with a strangely uncool woman, he leaves the business and tries to create a normal life with her until his past catches up with him and drags her into mortal danger.

Entertainment Value: B-
I know this is not a great movie. But I have to admit that I enjoyed it pretty well. Sure it’s mostly predictable, but the silliness of the whole thing is part of what makes it just fun to watch. It’s certainly not as good as True Lies or Mr. and Mrs. Smith, but it’s still fun. It’s a great antidote to the current spy/action vogue of taking everything so seriously with dark brooding leads who once were fun-loving and sardonic (like James Bond).

Superficial Content: C
Drugs/Alcohol C, Sex/Nudity C, Violence C, Language C
The mother drinks constantly, but I don’t think anyone got drunk. There’s no nudity, although there are a handful of sexual scenes and comments. Language is pretty light other than the no-no word and a couple of other mild profanities. Violence is certainly enough to justify the PG-13, since a lot of people are killed in fights or with guns. PG-13 is correct.

Significant Content: C
Dishonesty is the most dangerous thing to a relationship. The world is not always what it seems. Killing people is a distasteful business.

Artistic/Thought Value: F
Remember before when I said this is fun. Well, fun and thoughtful often don’t hang out together, and in this case, they aren’t even in the same zip code. There’s really no thinking here at all.

Discussion Questions:
~At one point, Spencer tells Jen that he’s the same person she always thought he was, just with a different resume. How credible a statement is this? How much does your past make you who you are? Can someone else really know you without knowing your past? What if you keep parts of it secret from them? Isn’t that an admission that your past is a vital part of knowing who you are?
~What about the idea that a person is not his occupation? How closely connected with your identity is your work?
Spencer tells Jen that all married people keep secrets from each other in order to protect them. Is he right? Does God keep secrets from us? Is it for our protection?
~Is failing to reveal a truth someone doesn’t ask about better than lying if they do ask? Are people entitled to the truth from us if we are in an intimate relationship with them? Can we have intimacy while withholding such information?
~Jen’s dad is constantly emphasizing the value of safety. How important do you think safety is in comparison with other values it might tend to impede? What parallels exist between physical safety or the safety of our possessions and the safety of our hearts in relationships? Which does this culture think is more important to protect? Which one do you think is more important to protect?
~People go to the movies to watch exotic or unusual things happen, but people who live such lives often yearn for ordinary lives. Can you explain this? Who has it right?
Overall Grade: C+
Fun and frivolous. The kind of movie you watch when you’re feeling a bit like some escapism and you don’t have too high expectations for the depth or brilliance of the writing.

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