If it weren’t for Mr. and Mrs. Smith out five years before this film or, for that matter, True Lies, this may have felt more original. It isn’t bad. It, in fact, goes back to the Bond-ish feel a bit more than either of these other films I’ve mentioned. It is story-driven before devolving into action and absurdity. And, my, does it devolve into absurdity.
What is fascinating is watching Heigl (One for the Money) and Kutcher (Two and a Half Men) take their more typically sweet characters and twist them into something like teddy bears with teeth. OK, wax teeth, perhaps, but the script gave it a shot. And the setup is a bit more based in the honest desire and love of two people rather than the use of those as part of a legend.
Adding to the family fun, Selleck (Blue Bloods) and O’Hara (Frankenweenie) jump in as a rather tightly bound set of in-laws. And a host of character actors fill out the neighbors including Sussman (Big Bang Theory), Riggle (Let’s Be Cops), Mull (Dads), Borstein (Family Guy) and others. In some ways having so many recognizable faces and voices ended up a distraction rather than an assist. Ultimately that fault lies with the writers and directors.
I might have expected more from director Luketic (21, Legally Blonde). Then again, Luketic didn’t write this one, he only took on the challenge of making it work. However, I should have expected more from co-writer Griffin (Oceans 11, Terriers) whose hand is more sure than what ended up on the screen.
This is a fun piece of treacle, but not a lot of meat (sweet or otherwise). For a rainy afternoon, sure. It may even be a good light evening with someone you care for, but there are other more engaging films out there.