Review: Central Intelligence

Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was the high school hero, the guy everybody loved and was capable of anything, in the present he’s now a bored accountant who can’t seem to get ahead, so when he agrees to meet up with Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson), the nerdy guy he once did a big favour for when they were young, he’s walking into much more than he realises. As it turns out Bob works for the C.I.A and is being framed for stealing critical government information and needs Calvin’s accountant skills to help him stop the information getting into the wrong hands. Also starring: Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul, Ryan Hansen, Tim Griffin and Timothy John Smith.

For anyone who has seen Hart or Johnson’s instagram account, you can see that these two genuinely have a great rapport and work extremely well together and that comes across on screen, but it doesn’t feel quite strong enough to make it a classic combination. Hart is a fantastic comedian but his skills feel somewhat underused here, with most of his humour falling short and being the same throughout the film. Johnson is always the muscle and here makes no exception but this time he’s playing the dumb, C.I.A operative which immediately is contradictory and the constant attempt to make his character more ridiculous while urging the audience to still accept the credibility of the situation, makes his acting feel over the top. The supporting cast however are all fantastic surprises, Amy Ryan makes a great agent as well as Aaron Paul, although none of whom get much time to shine or particularly exciting scenes to act out but they do add to the comedy.

Similar to the concept of Johnson’s character, the plot itself is slightly too unbelievable and is definitely asking for a very gullible audience; there’s little background information to the actual plot, rather more to the characters which leaves the story wanting. As well as that, it’s the type of film that’s been done a thousand times before, buddy movies out to save the world, although in this case there doesn’t feel like there’s even an inkling of threat to the welfare of anyone but the principal characters, and it adds nothing new to the genre. The action sequences however are decent but would be served better to feel like they actually held some importance, the film feels too much of a comedy for the action moments to hold meaning. The conclusion to the story will be satisfactory to most audiences but the journey is simply too mediocre.

Central Intelligence feels like nothing we haven’t seen before, the comedy is average and the story is lacking a strong plot. Though both Hart and Johnson are extremely capable, their real talents don’t come across on screen, most of their jokes fall flat and the dynamic though relatively entertaining to watch, is nothing special. It simply falls into the category of films that aren’t particularly worth the watch.

Verdict: 4.5/10

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