Review: Central Intelligence
What do you have with a CIA agent that is being accused of being a psychotic murderer, a traitor, and whose Facebook page says he likes guns, cinnamon pancakes and unicorns? You have Dwayne Johnson as Bob Stone. Bob’s favorite move is 16 Candles and he also loves the Twilight books.
So, is he psychotic, just a little crazy or just a crafty spy? That is what Kevin Hart as Calvin Joyner is trying to figure out. We are all kept guessing throughout the movie. But that is only when we are not laughing, which is most of the time.
Calvin used to the BMOC in high school who helped Bob (AKA Robbie) during an embarrassing prank. 20 years later Calvin is feeling like his best years are behind him and Bob catches up with him to enlist his accounting skills to help find CIA encryption codes. This turns out to be a kind of boiler plat, standard and somewhat implausible spy/treason plot.
What unfolds is plenty of action and more comedy that you can shake a Black Badger at. The fight sequence in Calvin’s office is the funnies action I have ever seen. Bob is fast, skilled and lethal. Calvin is scarred shitless and unintentionally knocking out guys left and right. He becomes a “pocket Denzel”.
The dialog in this film is tight and very funny. The direction is first rate(Rawson Marshall Thurber). There are several cases where a funny line just shoots out and because there is no obvious reaction it is funnier (“the unicorn is the most lethally animal alive”). Kevin Hart uses his substantial comedy talents as the perfect patsy and straight man. Dwayne Johnson is a vastly underrated actor and particularly in comedy.
More importantly, Johnson and Hart have incredible chemistry. They work together like a well-oiled comedy duo. And not to make a pun, but the comedy has real heart to it. The film makes us feel good about the personal journeys of these characters.
So, please go see this movie. You will send the entire movie laughing. You will come out of the theater repeating the funnies lines (“you like a black Will Smith”, “You’re like Jason Bourne in jorts”). And Like me you will hope these two actors team up again very soon.