It might star some of Hollywood’s most loved and funny, but it doesn’t quite live up to that.
Starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, Central Intelligence is the latest “summer comedy blockbuster” (even though it’s winter here) to hit our screens. When awkward high school friend Bob (Johnson) shows up the day before their high school reunion and reveals he’s in the CIA, mild mannered accountant Calvin (Hart) gets roped into a high stakes CIA game of cat and mouse. It’s a buddy spy comedy with all the right chops, but the film doesn’t do them justice.
With a plot purely to serve the comedy, Central Intelligence was left to lean on its humour, which isn’t unusual (think or pretty much any other comedy this year), but in a PG movie, it’s definitely not recommended. Kevin Hart and the Rock in a PG comedy eliminates their funniest traits, with the weaker humour sounding uncomfortable coming out of their mouths. Even Kevin Hart’s usual schtick (AKA ranting and raving) didn’t come off well because it was entirely clean (I mean, I know I’m always complaining about cheap sex jokes, but come on, Central Intelligence!). The script also felt a little dated, with references to Twilight and the word “boss” feeling very 2011 and out of place. But Central Intelligence wasn’t totally unfunny; the Rock and Kevin Hart are still very entertaining, and have such great chemistry together, sharing some hilarious scenes (including a couples therapy session) to delight. It was continuously amusing, if not always laugh out loud funny, contributing to a nice tone throughout.
Similarly, the plot was almost too simple, just present enough to constitute being there, held up by some intriguing twists and surprising cameos. As the audience is deceived as to whether or not Bob is a double agent, The Rock’s mania as Bob perfectly keeps the twists coming, as you wonder how such a childish man could be so clever, with Amy Ryan’s CIA agent as an absurd and interesting foil. Though Aaron Paul felt severely miscast as Phil, Bob’s ex-partner, Danielle Nicolet’s fun chemistry with Kevin as his wife, Maggie, added some sweet motivation. And, though the end scenes felt a little sentimental and out of place, they were still sweet, capitalising on the fact that anything the Rock says sounds motivational.
Despite the fact that the bloopers at the end drew bigger laughs than some of the jokes, Central Intelligence was still a fun and funny movie, with some great characters that continued to entertain. Though the plot was sacrificed somewhat for the humour, it still managed to be tense, and the end will satisfy any lovers of the Rock in the audience.
And, here’s my list of my top five favourite films and TV shows starring the cast of Central Intelligence:
- Fast Five – Dwayne Johnson
- The Five Year Engagement – Kevin Hart
- Capote – Amy Ryan
- Breaking Bad – Aaron Paul
- Ghostbusters – Melissa McCarthy (What? She’s in this?)