Review - Central Intelligence
By midlandsmovies, Jul 6 2016 07:34AM
Central Intelligence (2016) Dir. Rawson Marshall Thurber
From the director of Dodgeball and We’re The Millers comes a new comedy film starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart as old school friends who meet up many years later in a world of secretive espionage. Hart plays Calvin Joyner, a popular student star athlete who helps out Robbie Wheirdicht (Johnson) after bullies strip him naked in front of the rest of the school by lending him his sports jacket.
I cannot go further without saying that in this sequence The Rock as a young overweight boy is frankly one of the weirdest CGI creations I’ve ever seen – maybe worse than even The Rock’s Scorpion King. You’ve got to see it to believe it I guarantee. Flash forward 20 years and the grown up Hart has failed to achieve his potential and now works as a put-upon computer lackey in a law firm who is now picked on by his own office bullies. A chance meeting via Facebook and with a planned school reunion party on the cards and Calvin and Bob arrange to catch up. The out of shape shy boy from the past has moulded himself into, well, The Rock and suddenly reveals his new found CIA skills during a violent bar punch-up.
The role reversal story is a simple but effective set up as The Rock drags Hart’s character along for a ride (wait, wrong Kevin Hart film) as he goes rogue after accused of killing his partner by his former employers.
So, how does a person who has liked precisely zero of the films made by both leads expect to enjoy this film was the question I had to ask myself? Well, with much difficulty it seems.
Kevin Hart is so not my cup of tea at all (although to be fair he reigns in most of his “flailing/screeching” act here) and despite The Rock’s huge likeability, the man has yet to make a more than average film. Ultimately I really wanted to be proven wrong but this below-par film continues the long list of mostly terrible US comedy films that get released each year showing why it is currently in the doldrums.
The tiniest bit of chemistry has the addition of endless “whoas” and “way-heys” but Central Intelligence is oh so dull despite the excitable looks on the leads’ faces. The positives? Well it has some semblance of a plot and there isn’t a whole load of “improv” that taints so many modern US comedy films. Sadly, puerile after puerile gag falls flat and the initial weird-but-interesting relationship between the leads descends into a calamitous mess.
It’s rather bland and my laugh count was a humungous two. That’s two. TWO! In the end, I found the film an unmemorable and unfunny flop. To be fair, comedy is possibly the most subjective of genres but where is another Hot Fuzz, Anchorman or a Four Lions? Simple but ingenious ideas laced with creativity in their filming and their witty scripts? Eventually, all that can be said is that Central Intelligence, despite its juicy premise and admirable efforts, has had the majority of the humour redacted.
Midlands Movies Mike