Intelligent Humor Keeps Central Intelligence Fun
The Rock and Kevin Hart join forces in this buddy cop comedy from the director of Dodgeball and We’re the Millers. It’s a style we’ve seen an influx of over the last couple years, perfected mainly by 21 Jump Street among others. However, does Central Intelligence hold up to its genre counterparts? There’s no doubt about it, Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart are two of the hardest working actors in Hollywood today. I believe that no one deserves the success these two men have had more than them. Whether it’s Johnson becoming the most sought after actor in Hollywood, or Hart becoming the most successful comedian today; these two men deserve everything they’ve worked for.
I laughed harder outwardly seeing this film than I have in a while.
Central Intelligence is a comedy at heart (no pun intended) so the first and most important question to ask here is: is the film funny? A resounding yes. I laughed harder outwardly seeing this film than I have in a while. Hart and Johnson have great comedic timing, their relationship works well and you can see the two bonded greatly while filming this movie. Above all Central Intelligence is definitely a funny film. The comedy is never too outrageous for what they set up, it’s never raunchy or crude like so many comedies of today can be. It’s honestly kind of wholesome. Now, I’m not saying this is a “take your kids to see it” kind of film, it just never falls below the low brow line.
There isn’t much to work with for the plot of the film as it leaves a cliché taste in your mouth till the credits run.
Ike Barinholtz (Neighbors) pens the script for the two comedy titans and does a great job at giving them some terrific material to work with. Seriously, the dialogue and punchlines in this film are really solid, but can a movie run on jokes for a close to two-hour runtime? I don’t think it can and this is where Central Intelligence fails to leave its mark. What the film does well in comedy, it lacks in most other aspects. There isn’t much to work with for the plot of the film as it leaves a cliché taste in your mouth till the credits run. The action is nothing spectacular which is resoundingly disappointing when the film stars Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. The “villains” or honestly lackthereof leave much to be desired.
With director, Rawson Marshal Thurber(who sounds like a politician from the 1800’s) the film finds its chemistry early on though doesn’t do much to heighten that chemistry throughout. Our reasoning for liking our two main characters are obvious, they are likable, plain and simple; but beyond that point there isn’t much that Thurber sends our way in terms of continuing to route for them. Dwayne Johnson’s Bob Stone is adorable, an innocent sweetheart who, for good reason, despises bullies. Kevin Hart’s Calvin Joyner is the likeable school jock that the film refused to paint as a cliché. These two characters’ work together and you’ll see why within the first five minutes of the film. Though it’s beyond this point that makes the film feel like it’s reach is a little too far.
Outside of comedy, a lot is left to be desired in Central Intelligence.
Let’s think about one thing here, Central Intelligence, is a buddy cop comedy so the premise isn’t what’s most important. What’s most important is, what we’ve already covered in this review: the likability of the characters, the chemistry of the characters, and the comedy. Central Intelligence gets check marks on all three accounts, I’m just afraid there isn’t much else I can check mark for the film. The plot is subpar, all other characters are incredibly one dimensional, and the twist is ridiculously obvious. Outside of comedy, a lot is left to be desired in Central Intelligence. If you’re looking for a film to make you laugh, then you’ve found it. If you’re looking for more than just that, I’d recommend you keep searching. Go see Central Intelligence if you’d like to turn your brain off, enjoy some popcorn, and laugh with your friends and that’s not saying anything bad about its style.