Central Intelligence is the new action comedy starring Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Kevin Hart as former High School classmates who reconnect 20 years later where Hart’s Calvin gets drawn into Johnson’s Bob CIA work.
This is a film that probably leans a bit more heavily on the comedy than the action, although there are 2 or 3 action set pieces, which the Rock is obviously great at. But I do feel this is primarily a comedy, and as such the humour has to have a heavier weight in how good the film is. And I Laughed quite a lot watching this movie. But that doesn’t mean it’s hysterical throughout, there were a fair few jokes that fell flat for me, and the others in the cinema with me. However there were enough jokes to make me laugh for the best part of the film. One thing Central Intelligence does is throw out a lot of pop culture references. Some of these are worked well into jokes, and those really got me, but there were occasions where the film literally just left it at the reference. I’ve also got to say that they managed to get some great cameos from some big name comedians.
Central Intelligence is a film the lives and dies on the two central performances from Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, and the chemistry between the two. And I’d say that’s one of the film’s strongest assets, which these two actors clearly got on really well off camera, and it comes across on screen. Their relationship and friendship in the film is completely believable, and both actors completely sell it. More individually, and Kevin Hart is doing what has become a classic Kevin Hart comedic performance. I don’t find a lot of his films particularly funny, and that goes for a lot of his material here as well, but if you are a fan then I’m sure you’ll love him. He certainly doesn’t give a bad performance; it’s just not my preferred style of comedy. What is absolutely undeniable is the Rock has proven that he has serious comedy chops to go along with his general acting talent. Almost every single funny moment in the film came when he was on screen, and I would love to see him do more comedy in the future.
What doesn’t work so well is the story. If you have ever seen a spy film before in your life then you will know how this film is going to go. Most of the plot and the character arcs are fairly telegraphed from a long way out, and you really shouldn’t be left surprised by anything that happens in the film. I thought that it was a real shame that the story was so formulaic, because it does hurt the quality of the film. There could have been some great comedy to be had from subverting our expectations of the spy genre, but sadly this just wasn’t the case.
I did laugh throughout so I have to go positive with my score for Central Intelligence. I also loved the Rock as a comedy star, and love that he is really showing his range. I did wish however that the storyline could have been less predictable, and Kevin hart could have given a slightly less Kevin hart performance. Overall Central Intelligence is fun, and good time while you’re there, but it’s not going down as a comedy great.