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Review: Central Intelligence

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Central Intelligence

When you think of comedic acting The Rock (Dwayne Johnson) might not be the first name that springs to mind. However his pairing with Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence entertains in an otherwise unremarkable take on the buddy comedy.

Rawson Marshall Thurber’s (Dodgeball, Meet the Millers) comedy follows two high school friends and it’s a classic story of opposites. The film opens in a 1996 flashback and thanks to some CGI wonder we see Bob Stone (The Rock) is a bullied fat kid, whilst in contrast Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) is the most popular and successful guy in school.

However in the current day Calvin, now an accountant is struggling to live up to expectations and doesn’t want to go back to the High School Reunion but all this changes when he meets up with Bob Stone. Bob is now a muscled rogue CIA agent who has ulterior motives for meeting and Calvin is quickly dragged into a mission to save the free world.

Whilst this is their first film together as leading men Kevin Hart and The Rock have a chemistry that naturally works. The Rock gets to have some fun playing the unicorn loving, hunted CIA agent whose allegiances are initially unknown. Kevin Hart contrasts well as ‘the straight guy’ and the fish out of water. Somehow it is this relationship that keeps you entertained and produces some funny moments. The supporting cast is good and includes Amy Ryan as Agent Pamela Harris tasked with hunting Bob down. There are some mixed cameos from Aaron Paul, Mellissa McCartney and Jason Bateman which do add to the movie.

The film reminds me of that old saying ‘jack of all trades expert in none’ it tries to be action, comedy, a story about spies and bullies and altogether it is a bit of a mixed bag. There is an incoherent yet predictable plot about satellite codes with no depth whatsoever. The actions scenes, which tend to come out of nowhere and end nowhere are unmemorable and the conclusion is an overly sentimental sop fest about ‘being master of your own story’.

However whilst these elements create an air of mediocrity the film is actually entertaining. Mostly down to the lead men. Some of the jokes do fall flat but there are a few really good ‘laugh out loud’ moments and it’s an enjoyable experience to watch.

Overall Central Intelligence is pretty unremarkable and unmemorable however it’s an entertaining enough ride pulled through by the chemistry between the two lead characters. Not all the jokes work but I did genuinely laugh at a few moments. If you like care free light comedy it’s the film for you. It’s definitely worth a watch but might be better to wait for the DVD.

2.5-out-of-5

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