Possible spoilers ahead!
It took me a while to see “Central Intelligence” because I needed a break from Kevin Hart and his vast array of short jokes. And to be honest, I probably wouldn’t have seen this movie if the People’s Champ wasn’t in it.
Anways, “Central Intelligence” centers around Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), am accountant who is frustrated with how his life turned out after having been the king of his high school. He was the most popular kid in school; voted most likely to succeed; and he even married his high school sweetheart.
With his twentieth high school reunion being just around the corner, Calvin decides to have drinks with “Bob Stone” (Dwayne Johnson): a formerly overweight outsider whom Calvin was kind to once in high school. Stone is now grown up and a muscle-bound badass who is obsessed with unicorns. Oh yeah, Bob is also a CIA agent who has gone rogue – and is now being hunted by his former employers.
After a lot of runaround, Bob tells Calvin that he is actually deep under-cover, attempting to learn the identity of a traitor within the CIA known only as “The Black Badger.” Despite his repeated objections, Calvin is forced to join Bob’s mission and use his accounting skills to help crack the case. But all along Calvin doesn’t know whether Bob is telling the truth… or whether Bob might be “The Black Badger” himself.
Without a doubt, this movie does not work withouth the talents of Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The duo’s onscreen chemistry is easily the best thing this movie has going for it. You could tell these two were really has fun making this movie, and that their friendship is genuine. It’s easy to see why the two actors would want to work together again in the upcoming Jumanji reboot.
Also, it was nice to see Kevin Hart play an ordinary straight-man for a change. But don’t worry, there’s still plenty of Hart’s shenanigans audiences seem to like. And I think there were only one or two short jokes this time around.
The best parts of “Central Intelligence” are when Hart and Johnson play off one another; but the movie’s over-arching storyline felt too by the numbers. It felt like every sequence was there to set up another sequence. The main story about a traitor at the CIA is confusing at times, and mostly unnecessary.
Unless I missed something, Aaron Paul was sick of the Rock because he kept quoting “sixteen Candles” and “Road House.” And I guess this made him betray the CIA or something. I’m still not sure what was going on.
In my opinion, if you’re gonna hire Aaron Paul, or someone else people recognize, then give him or her something to do. Or at the very least, throw in a couple of lines of dialogue that will explain some things.
In the end, I will say that I liked “Central Intelligence” somewhat, but I didn’t love it if that makes sense? This is an okay action/comedy, but parts of the story were not as sharp as I would have liked them to be.
When all is said and done, only Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson’s chemistry saves “Central Intelligence” from being another forgettable action/comedy.
“Central Intelligence” final score: 7