Central Intelligence

 photo central_intelligence_ver2_zps8nxd0sdr.jpg photo starrating-2andahalfstars.jpgMovies don’t get more agreeably disposable than Central Intelligence, a stridently by-the-numbers action comedy. The source of all humor contained within is an incongruous juxtaposition – the visual joke as it were. Hey guys!! Watch a big muscular dude (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) pal around with a yappy shrimp of a man (Kevin Hart). The former has a flamboyant personality. The latter possesses a shrill disposition. Just what we’re in short supply of – another “odd couple” comedy.

Back in high school it was a much different story. Calvin Joyner (Hart) was a BMOC: class president, homecoming king, drama club thespian, et cetera. Conversely Robbie Weirdicht (Johnson) was a morbidly obese dork who enjoyed dancing in the gym locker room to En Vogue’s “My Loving (You’re Never Gonna Get It)”. Yup, complete with hand gestures and everything. He was mercilessly teased. Flash forward to the modern day. Calvin is in a funk. He hasn’t yet achieved what he had envisioned for his life. He’s happily married to his high school sweetheart and gainfully employed as an accountant. “Wait what’s the problem?”, you may ask. That’s a very good question. Oops! I think you just might be too smart for this picture.

Robbie Weirdicht (now calling himself Bob Stone), on the other hand, is a huge brawny guy who likes to wear unicorn shirts that look like they were purchased at Baby Gap. He also happens to be a competent CIA agent. This figures into the plot but it’s kind of irrelevant. The purpose of this buddy film is to unite two unlikely people and merely savor their chemistry. Bob still idolizes Calvin like a hero. He quickly ingratiates himself back into Calvin’s life after a Facebook invite. Within hours he’s already sleeping on his couch. Honestly Bob’s obsessive fascination with Calvin is borderline stalker behavior.

Central Intelligence isn’t a horrible movie. It coasts on the charm of its leads. Dwayne Johnson is eager, overzealous and blissfully unaware. He imagines this close personal friendship with Kevin Hart’s character that was never really there. He’s so naive he seems almost mentally challenged. Kevin Hart plays an exasperated, persnickety fuss-budget. The two are a mismatched pair. If you can appreciate the constant mugging from the two stars then you should cuddle up to the film’s modest charms. Me? I was hoping for a bit more story than the threadbare plot that’s served up here. For the record, it’s some nonsense about selling critical U.S. satellite codes to terrorists. There’s also some confusion as to whether Bob Stone is actually a good or a bad guy in the CIA but you’d have to be fast asleep not to figure that out. Yes it’s totally predictable, but that’s not the issue. I found their hijinks mildly amusing. I simply never laughed out loud at any point. It’s so thoroughly generic. Directer and co-writer Rawson Marshall Thurber has done better work. I’d uphold DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story over this. What sets Central Intelligence apart is Wayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. I recommend this to very forgiving fans (and only fans) for whom these celebrities can do no wrong.

06-21-16

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15 Responses to “Central Intelligence”

  1. smilingldsgirl Says:

    Yeah if it didnt make you laugh not much to the film. For some reason it did it for me and I laughed a lot. Humor is so subjective

    • Agreed. I’ve also always said that comedy is the most subjective genre. I think drama, animated, fantasy, science fiction, romance, etc are somewhat less arbitrary than humor.

      • smilingldsgirl Says:

        Yeah it can even come down to my mood on a particular day and just being ready to laugh. Other days I’m more of a tough sale.

  2. Just saw this the other night in order to get cool in some air conditioning. It was pretty silly and not as funny as Get Hard, which is definitely not a complement either.

  3. Disposable is a good adjective, made slightly better by the chemistry between Johnson and Hart.
    They’re teaming up again in other movies, which I’m fine with. But, we don’t need other Central Intelligence installments.

    • Movie(s) as in plural? I had no idea. I know of one more. The IMDb says they’re doing a “re-imagining” of the 1995 film, Jumanji together. Are there other titles?

      • I must have heard wrong. I thought I remember some site like Screenrant making reference to another movie in addition to Jumanji that they’d be working on. Can’t find now…maybe I dreamt it lol.

  4. I think this is everything I felt about it I just gave it a harsher rating. So basically the difference between us is an arbitrary number 😉

    Although I think overall I thought Dwayne Johnson has been much better before. He just seemed kinda off his game here. I don’t know. That’s probably me.

    • Addendum to that: our scores are the same. lol 50% = 50% Doy.

    • Dwayne Johnson was kinda odd, but “Bob Stone” was an odd character so maybe it was just the part. I think he’s best in those Fast & Furious movies. Fast 8 comes out April 14, 2017. lol

  5. This wasn’t as funny as I wanted it to be. Kevin Hart should not have been cast. He was a little too serious. 3 stars

  6. “Agreeably disposable” sounds like such a sad thing to be. I dug the biting sarcasm of your line, “Just what we’re in short supply of – another ‘odd couple’ comedy.” Not surprised to hear that the movie coasts on the charm of its leads. I got that sense from its trailers. I knew the plot would be pretty light, but I didn’t suspect it would be as light as you describe. I tend to be forgiving of both Hart and Johnson, so I might catch Central Intelligence at some point.

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