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Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence: Onscreen Chemistry Carries Otherwise Tame Affair

  • Aaron PaulAmy Ryan...
  • Action & AdventureComedy
  • Rawson Marshall Thurber
reviewed by
Marija Loncarevic
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Central Intelligence: Onscreen Chemistry Carries Otherwise Tame Affair

While it may be rigged with clichés and met with the expectedly formulaic hits at every turn, there’s still something awfully endearing about watching funny-man, Kevin Hart, and wrestler-turned-actor, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson, as they manage to keep their infectiously infectiously funny onscreen dynamics intact in the largely weak comedy, Central Intelligence.

The story is centred on Calvin Joyner (Hart); a reserved accountant who isn’t exactly overjoyed with the way his life turned out to be. In high school, he was voted as most likely to succeed and although, he is professionally successful is married to his high-school sweetheart, Maggie (Nicolet), he still can’t help but feel like a failure.

With his twentieth high school reunion just around the corner, Calvin soon finds himself crossing paths with Bob Stone (Johnson); a formerly overweight – and bullied – outcast who has grown up into a quirky ball of muscle and is now super eager to reawaken his ‘friendship’ with Calvin. 

As it turns out, Bob is a CIA agent who has gone rogue; however, according to him, he is actually under-cover trying to reveal the identity of a traitor within the agency – who goes by the name ‘The Black Badger’ – before classified U.S government information is sold to terrorists. Calvin, of course, has no choice but to join him for the ride. 

Predictable in nature, Central Intelligence – scripted by We’re the Millers director who shares writing credits with Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen – is definitely not the most ‘intelligent’ movies you’ll see. 

Plot holes, illogical setups and uneventful action set pieces make up most a large bulk of the story, but the film benefits greatly from the casting of Hart and Johnson who pretty much carry the movie on their shoulders. Hart, taking a step back from his usual loud-self, does a great job as the insecure accountant, but it’s ‘The Rock’ who deserves most of the credit here; the ex-WWE wrestler shines brightest as the quirky, Unicorn-loving, Sixteen Candles-quoting hulk.

In the end, Central Intelligence is a glaringly flawed affair, but the clichés and lazy set-ups are, to a certain degree, endured thanks to the irresistibly compelling onscreen chemistry of the two leads who manage to make us forget just how poor the whole package actually is. 

Like This? Try

 Ride Along (2014), Spy (2015), American Ultra (2015)      

360 Tip

This is the first joint-venture between Warner Bros. and Universal Pictures for twenty years, since Twister (1996).

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