Review - Film - The spy who loved her

15th October 2010 at 01:00

Director: Robert Luketic

Starring: Katherine Heigl, Ashton Kutcher, Tom Selleck

Released on DVD on October 25

Cert: 12

Rating: 45

Can you imagine finding out that your husband is a contract killer? Like Katherine Heigl's character Jen in Killers, you would not be happy about it. This is the story behind this hilarious comedy starring Heigl and Ashton Kutcher, playing newlyweds Jen and Spencer Aimes, whose seemingly perfect marriage is put to the test when it turns out that Spencer is, in fact, an assassin.

There are other films similar to this in the actioncomedy genre such as Mr and Mrs Smith and The Mask Of Zorro. However, this film has a great plot, sets up the characters well and has fantastic action scenes with cars exploding, gunfire and a brilliant ending which gives the film its intriguing title. The twists will get you every time and the acting is great. The romantic element makes this a film women will love, too.

Killers had me up in my seat and my eyes were glued to the screen right to the end. I would rate it four out of five because of the very strong action, comedy, romance, twists and, best of all, acting.

Ceri Hawkins, 13, Uckfield Community College in East Sussex

Rating: 25

Director Luketic's latest release attempts to combine the thrill and excitement of a spy thriller with the cosy humour of an American rom-com.

Unlucky in love Jen (Heigl) is holidaying in Nice with her parents. A chance meeting with CIA assassin Spencer (Kutcher) in the hotel lift is all it takes for romance to blossom.

Spencer, who craves a normal life surrounded by people he can trust, immediately falls for Jen's girl-next-door charm and dull suburban lifestyle.

Three years on Spencer has happily abandoned the fast cars and exotic locations in favour of a picture-perfect marriage and overbearing neighbours. But for Spencer and Jen the honeymoon period soon ends when a $20 million bounty is placed on his head and the neighbourhood appears to be out to kill him.

If you can look past the horrendous montage sequences of French sunsets and romantic picnics, the film is fast-paced, with some well-choreographed action sequences and amusing one-liners. Kevin Sussman as the geeky neighbour raises a smile as does Usher's unlikely casting as a pregnancy kit expert.

It's also good to see Tom Selleck and his moustache back on the big screen as Jen's over-protective father, and Heigl is equally convincing as the fun-loving but naive blonde.

However, Kutcher is less successful. He is certainly no Daniel Craig and lacks the suave sophistication we expect from a super-assassin. Perhaps most unbelievable is the transformations both characters undergo: Jen from hapless wife to gun-toting accomplice within minutes.

The plot has some amusing twists but is rather predictable and comes to a very cliched conclusion. The film perhaps tries to combine too many generic elements (action, thriller, romance) and as a result fails to succeed with any. Killers has a promising premise but fails to deliver.

Carla Taylor, Filmclub leader, Uckfield Community College, East Sussex

- Filmclub, a charity supported by Lovefilm, helps to set up after-school film clubs where children watch and discuss a range of films, promoting learning in an informal setting. Each week members of Filmclub will review everything from new releases to cinema classics. Join at www.filmclub.orgregister



Director: Adam Green

Starring: Emma Bell, Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers

Out now on DVD

Cert: 15

Rating: 45

Frozen's concept is simple: a group of skiers are left stranded in a chairlift after an unfortunate misunderstanding. They then face a long string of life and death decisions that test their basic survival instincts. Green's story is presented in a brutal, intense and often shocking way and gives a compelling account of the strengths and weaknesses of the human body.

After a main character is seriously injured, the sense of realism makes the film even more shocking - it is unsurprising to hear reports of people fainting during screenings. Mother Nature shows her wrath and tension builds as the camera swirls around the chairlift. Green's choice to avoid using CGI was also a wise and creditable decision.

However, the decision to use wolves as another threat harks back to the B-movie concept of adding a "monster" to the equation and brings down what could have been a fine piece of work. It has a similar effect to last year's The Road: emotional strain can be interesting, but is difficult to watch. However, there is a definite spark in Frozen, especially in its raw exploration of human emotion.

Alice Bishop, 16, Robert Smyth School, Market Harborough, Leicestershire


Director: Lars von Trier

Starring: Bjork, Catherine Deneuve, David Morse

Out now on DVD

Cert: 15

Rating: 55

Dancer in the Dark, Lars von Trier's work of art from 2000, is an emotional musical drama that inspires and exhilarates.

Bjork plays Selma, a Czech immigrant in rural 1960s America who is suffering from an unnamed genetic illness that is causing her to slowly go blind. She is a single mother working in a factory and trying to save enough money for an operation that will save her son from inheriting her fate. However, she is embroiled in a murder and left to face a tragic end.

Dancer in the Dark is a charming film because to escape her desperation Selma envisages herself as part of the musicals she adores. It is these interludes of cheery exuberance that add colour to her bleak, dull existence.

The moment that encapsulates the whole film for me is the conversation between Selma and the prison guard Brenda (Siobhan Fallon) when Selma says: "In a musical, nothing dreadful ever happens. I think everyone in the world wishes that they could escape the harsh realities of life. However, no matter how bright the light, we always fade into darkness at the end."

Muhammed Patel, 17, St Mary's College, Blackburn.

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