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Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is a CIA Agent looking to enlist the help of high school buddy Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence, the new action comedy from Warner Bros. Is this movie worth checking out this weekend, or would you be better off staying home watching unicorn movies?
In 1996, Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was the most popular kid in high school. Nicknamed the “Golden Jet,” he was the captain of many sport teams and clubs and was even voted “Most Likely To Succeed.” Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) was an obese kid who was bullied both physically and emotionally. After a being tossed naked onto the gym floor during an all-school assembly, he never returned to school, but he never forgot about the kindness of Calvin who not only didn’t laugh at him, but gave him his letterman jacket to cover up.
Twenty years later, Calvin isn’t the successful man he thought he was supposed to be. He married the prettiest girl in school, but is living a rut as an accountant. On the eve of his 20th high school reunion, he gets a Facebook friend request from Robbie who now goes by the name Bob Stone. Bob is no longer the fat goofy kid from school. He’s still goofy, but now he’s an extremely muscular CIA agent who needs his help to get tracking numbers from financial institutions in order to capture a bad guy named the “Black Badger” who is trying to steal satellite encryption codes. Before Calvin realizes what he’s got himself into, Bob already has him too deep in the crazy world of espionage.
Most buddy movies work well when you take two polar opposites and put them together. Wilder and Pryor, Martin and Candy, Murphy and Nolte, Glover and Gibson, and Tucker and Chan are all memorable because of their incredible dynamics and on-screen chemistry. Add Johnson and Hart to that list, because I really had a great time watching them on screen.
Normally Kevin Hart is hit or miss with me. In movies like Ride Along, I can only take him being overly obnoxious before I start to tune out. Plus, how many jokes about Hart’s vertically-challenged stature must we endure? We get it, he’s short. But in Central Intelligence, Hart steps back a bit an let’s Dwayne Johnson have all the laughs. And that’s not to say at all that Kevin Hart isn’t funny in this movie, he is, but it was refreshing that he played more of straight man to the antics and shenanigans of Johnson.
Speaking of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, he absolutely steals the show. The guy really can’t do any wrong. He’s been proven to be a hot commodity in franchises like G.I. Joe and Fast and Furious. The Rock is a double threat and in this movie he takes advantage of his talents: strength and humor. When The Rock isn’t kicking ass taking out tough guys at a bar or dodging bullets while being chased by CIA agents, Johnson is just flat out hysterical. Johnson isn’t afraid to make fun of himself and take chances. What makes this performance so memorable is that he plays a character with the mind of a child, but the hulking mass of a professional wrestler. What’s even cool is when he snaps to attention when his CIA agent training kicks in. It’s like watching a comedy version of Jason Bourne. Because of how Johnson was in this movie, he would have absolutely been perfect to play Shazam in the upcoming DC Comics live-action movie, but I think he’ll be a really good Black Adam.
Besides the comedy, there is some pretty good action and some awesome cameos, but it really plays a back door to the humor. Of course all the action comes from Johnson. There is plenty of fights, chases, and shootouts that should make everyone happy. I also loved that the movie kept me guessing as to who exactly was the bad guy in the whole movie. I did pretty much predict the ending, but I was still trying to figure everything out along the way.
Central Intelligence isn’t the most hilarious comedy I’ve ever seen, but my audience did chuckle and laugh from beginning to end and in the wake of all the recent tragedies in the news, It was a refreshing break from reality. This really is what the world needs more of: to not take things so seriously and laugh.
I had a really good time with Central Intelligence. It’s a pretty funny buddy flick filled with lots of action and tons of comedy. Kevin Hart was funny even though he played more a straight man to the antics of Dwayne Johnson. The Rock was a hilarious version of Jason Bourne. The duo really has some awesome on-screen chemistry as their comedic timing was suburb. If you love buddy action comedies like 21 Jump Street, Rush Hour, and even Lethal Weapon, then I think you’ll really enjoy Central Intelligence.