When a comedy has a tag line this good, you’ve got to be expecting something. ‘Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson’ perfectly sums up what this film should be – funny, clever and self-aware, as well as having a strong focus on the two stars of the film, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. Few actors are more prolific or charismatic than this duo, so having the two of them co-lead a comedy seems like a perfect combination. The pair has also done some fantastic promotional work, showing that they clearly had fun together, which will hopefully be obvious to the audience, and not just the stars.
Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was the most popular guy in school. Voted ‘most likely to succeed’, he was loved by pretty much everyone. Robbie Weirdicht (Dwyane Johnson) is the polar opposite, with only Calvin being nice to him. Now it’s twenty years later, and things didn’t quite work out as well for Calvin as he expected. One day out of the blue, Robbie gets back in touch with him using the name Bob Stone, and after a night out together, Calvin finds himself caught up in an international terror plot, all thanks to Bob’s career in the CIA.
I’m pleased to say that Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson work as well together as you would expect. Most of the film’s funny moments come from the pair visibly having fun, and there are a few times that you can tell they’re improvising, and they’re good at it. I was surprised to see that one of the writers was an actor I’m very fond of, Ike Barinholtz, who no doubt added a number of jokes himself.
The main problem with Central Intelligence is that there aren’t enough funny parts. The jokes and funny situations are all well done, and there are some huge laughs in this film, but there are long periods that are played as straight action, and these parts aren’t done anywhere near as well. There are a few nice cameo appearances from recognisable actors, which all help ease the onset of boredom, but they’re all small roles, and don’t help fight it off for long.
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