CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE – 2 ½ (out of 4 Stars)
There seems to be a slew of movies coming out based on the old comedic buddy system resemblance to Abbot and Costello, Martin and Lewis, Burns and Allen, you get the idea. A straight man and a comedian. The recent movie 2016 movie The Nice Guys is a perfect example of this pairing and now comes Central intelligence starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart (I’ll let you figure out who’s the straight man and who’s the comedian).
The story is very simple. Back in high school, Bobby Stone (Johnson) used to be a fat unlikable bullied kid, who was befriended, albeit for a brief encounter, by Calvin Joyner (Hart), the school’s all American athlete and most likely to succeed student. 20 years later, Calvin is a married middle aged accountant who’s passed over for advancement by his assistant while Bobby has become a muscle bound super spy working for the CIA trying to prevent super-secret codes from being sold on the open market.
How did Bobby go from super fat to super muscle you may ask? Simple he worked out six hours a day, every day, for 20 years (now you know the secret, it has nothing to do with genetics). Forget about all those fad diets and exercise plans, this is the way to look like the ‘Rock’. OK back to the story.
Twenty years later, Bobby enlists Calvin’s help to decrypt a file which will unlock the mystery of who is the mole inside the agency. Now I know what you going to say, we seen this story before, haven’t we? And you’d be right. But not with Hart and Johnson at the helm.
This is a cute movie. The chemistry between the two main characters works. You can tell that Dwayne Johnson had a very difficult time of keeping a straight face in his scenes with Kevin Hart who is a very funny comedian and since many of his lines are ad lib, you never know what he will say next. I was fortunate to see some outtakes and based on the levity, it’s amazing they were able to get through a day’s filming on schedule. There were lots of other fun characters in the mix. Calvin’s beautiful wife Maggie (Danielle Nicolet), a hard core, no nonsense Agent Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan), bobby’s ex-partner Phil (Aaron Paul), bully Dylan Boyack (Jason Bateman – uncredited) and you’ve got a cast for a fun movie.
There are no wild effects, incredible cinematography, beautiful locations, intrigue, espionage, thriller, suspense as you might think based upon the title but the movie is an enjoyable 1:47 minute film. No reason to rush out immediately to see this but if you’d like to have a good laugh then by all means spend the money. You’ll get the same jokes watching it later when it comes out on your TV, you’ll just have to wait to laugh.