Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Kevin Hart star in a buddy comedy that is above average, oozes charm, and fills the screen with a great chemistry. A High School loser and the Most Popular Kid meet up 20 years after leaving school and their lives have changed. The popular kid has become a mid management accountant and is unhappy with how his life has changed. The loser has become an Adonis and is on the run from the CIA.
The Rock from every piece of footage that I’ve seen of him seems like one of the most down to earth people on the planet. No matter how much success he has he seems to have never let it go to his head. I’ve never heard of anyone saying a bad word about the man. No matter what the film his performance is always rock steady. Here his infectious smile and natural comedic ability shines through. He has a great chemistry with Hart, who manages to control his hyperactive gestures, the two have a great sense of one another. It felt as though Hart was playing the straight man in the comedy machine for once and it was a pleasant change.
The story is that Hart is so unhappy that his career and marriage has stalled, while The Rock has managed to become this Greek God who is on the run from the CIA. Hart’s accounting talents are needed and The Rock drags the man into his underworld business. The film is about letting go of your past and having a really good time in the cinema. I gave this a three out of five rather than a four but it’s a close call.
The chemistry between the two is amazing and with them re-teaming in the Jumanji reboot it’s all good in future for them. I used to love Hart’s vibrant stand up routines and the movies that he’s been in have been more misses than hits, recently in The Secret Life of Pets he stole the show as the fluffy bunny, it’s good to see him show more talent here.
There are a lot of cliché buddy comedy moments in the film, but the chemistry that I keep going on about, I know I do, but it sets this apart from the majority of comedies out there. I want to go to a comedy and laugh my cute behind off, if failing that I want more chuckles than not, and for the most part Central Intelligence gave me that in spades.
The camera work is typical of American comedies of these days and what also separates this from the norm is that the script is witty and filled with great one liners. The Rock’s character is so filled with optimism that it just makes you smile. What really got me were the classic pop hits of the last 20 years that were picked to be part of the soundtrack, not meaning to sound like an old man here, but it was nice to hear these songs again. The use of these songs brings a real feel to the film, as The Rock’s stilted character wouldn’t have moved that far from the songs of the time of his greatest shame and the greatest moment of friendship that he has ever had.
This film is already out in some areas and coming out in Ireland soon. It’s a great way to spend a few hours and fills you with that great joy that we’re missing. There is nothing hugely original but the two stars and the script make this one of the better comedies of the year, it’s a real joy to sit and just chuckle through a movie. Central Intelligence is worth your time and money.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writers: Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, Rawson Marshall Thurber, Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen
Stars: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Danielle Nicolet