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Trust. Experts say it's the most important ingredient of a successful marriage. So when a husband violates that trust—by not fessing up that he used to kill people for a living—well, it's bound to cause problems.
When Jen first met Spencer while vacationing in France, there was no reason to suspect he was a government assassin. Maybe she should have quibbled over his line about being a "consultant" for a nameless "corporation" where he specialized in "downsizing." But Spence quit his mysterious gig shortly after they met, so perhaps Jen didn't feel it was all that important anymore. The two promptly married and, after three mostly blissful, entirely uneventful years, it seemed as if Spencer's old job—whatever it might've been—was old news. They settled down in an upscale suburb and got to know their neighbors, attending block parties and contemplating how wonderful they were together.
But the assassination biz is a tricky one to leave. Former killers rarely get a chance to update their résumés before fellow agents forcibly "retire" them, and when Spence hears from his old boss—who shortly thereafter "retires" in a local hotel room—he knows things could get ugly.
And so they do.
And when they do, Jen starts demanding answers—answers that Spence is reluctant to divulge for fear the information might make Jen a target, too.
"I work for the blah, blah, blah, and they gave me a license to blah," he says, as the two of them fly down their quiet suburban street in their bullet-riddled truck.
Well, that answers everything.
Spencer really did try to walk away from his assassin gig—a job he never particularly liked, anyway. He even tried to bring up his killer career before they married. (Alas, Jen fell asleep before Spence could spit it out.)
Spencer really does love Jen and he's ready and willing to sacrifice a great deal to protect her. Jen loves Spence, too, and when a home pregnancy test turns up positive, she shows us that she already—fiercely—loves her baby.
"You don't want this," Spencer tells her.
"What I wanted stopped mattering the moment I saw those two bars," she says.
She thinks about leaving Spence for the baby's sake, but decides to stick with him, determined to work things out.
Jen also has a tight relationship with her mom and dad, and Spencer gamely tries to please her gruff, mustachioed pops—albeit with little success.
Jen's gaga over Spencer's "physical, godlike perfection." And when she first meets him, he's wearing just swimming trunks. It's not long before she's doing more than just admiring him from afar. After dancing, they head to Jen's hotel room where they kiss and Spencer helps her out of her very tight dress. (He demurely covers her and turns away; the camera doesn't, showing part of her backside.)
Jen and Spence swim naked in the surf. (We see scattered clothes on the beach.) After they get married, Spencer kisses Jen's breasts while she's wearing only a bra and skirt. They sometimes discuss intimate issues.
At a nightclub, Jen adjusts her breasts through a slinky dress while Spencer's away—an adjustment that a fellow nightclubber takes as a come-on. He forces her to dance with him (making many lewd dancing moves as he does). Elsewhere, women wear bikinis and/or tops that reveal lots of cleavage.
References are made to porn stashes, including one involving "tranny" porn. Talk about sex with various women gets a fair amount of screen time. Jen and Spencer's "naked Saturdays" tradition comes up in conversation. Someone is unfairly labeled a pervert.
We learn that before he gave up his profession, Spencer killed 14 people. (We see him break a guy's neck, then place a bomb on a helicopter which he later sets off.) But his personal body count climbs significantly higher before the credits roll. One would-be assassin dies in a Spencer-caused auto accident, the roof of his car (and presumably him) pierced like a pincushion with rebar. Another dies in a gas-fueled fireball. Other killers are "retired" when they're shot, run over or skewered by a chandelier.
Spencer gets punched, kicked, shot at, nearly run over and almost strangled by a computer cord. A man is found with bloody wounds on his body. Someone gets shot in the arm and has one of his teeth knocked out. Spencer nearly kills an innocent supermarket employee. Cars bash through garage doors, mow down fences and knock over fire hydrants.
Crude or Profane Language
One f-word is supplemented with the euphemism "effing." We hear the s-word a half-dozen times, and we see an obscene gesture. God's name is misused 30 times—once with "d‑‑n." Crude slang stands in for the names of sexual body parts. "H‑‑‑" and "p‑‑‑" also make their way into the script.
Drug and Alcohol Content
Jen's mother literally drinks enough for everybody in the family, absorbing more libations than are usually available at your standard college frat party. Yet she never appears overtly drunk—and her apparent alcoholism is played for laughs.
Other folks also consume everything from wine and beer to champagne and mixed drinks. Shots of vodka are poured at a party. After Jen and Spence throw a surprise party, a drunk friend apparently drives home with Spencer's blessing.
Other Negative Elements
We see Jen throw up while suffering from morning sickness. We also see her on the toilet, taking her pregnancy test.
Spencer and Jen steal at least two cars and one child's backpack. People lie repeatedly to each other about their true occupations—and then try to shoot each other.
"I can't change who I was," Spencer tells Jen as she mulls whether to leave him. And this, of course, is true of all of us. Most of us have done things we're not particularly proud of, and we could all extend a little grace when someone reveals their sometimes silly, sometimes shameful secrets to us.
Which means that, should you come across any of the folks responsible for making Killers, show them that grace. Because someday, most of them will look back and say to themselves, "What were we thinking?!"
Other Belief Systems
Readability Age Range
Ashton Kutcher as Spencer; Katherine Heigl as Jen; Tom Selleck as Mr. Kornfeldt; Catherine O'Hara as Mrs. Kornfeldt
June 4, 2010
September 7, 2010