Central Intelligence (2016)

6:32 AM

Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson.
This review contains minor Spoilers
 Central Intelligence is directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber (We're the Millers, Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story) and stars Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious, San Andreas) and Kevin Hart (Ride Along, The Wedding Ringer). "After he reconnects with an awkward pal from high school through Facebook, a mild-mannered accountant is lured into the world of international espionage". Are Johnson and Hart a match made in movie heaven or is this a combination that should have never made it to the big screen?

I didn't really know what to expect before watching Central Intelligence - the concept actually sounded pretty good when it was announced this film was being made. However, it stars Kevin Hart and I rarely like a Hart movie. However, I think I can say with confidence that this is my favourite film of his so far. Central Intelligence is a pretty mediocre film - it is probably in the middle of similar flicks Ride Along (bad) and 21 Jump Street (good). The film does have a few funny moments but there unfortunately wasn't really any big lough out loud scenes. If you are a fan of Johnson or Hart, you will probably love this film, otherwise you may find it slightly average. 

The story for this film is pretty good and I will praise Central Intelligence for being one of the very few original films of the year. I liked how the film would keep switching on who the black badger was - it was quite intelligent when it came to presenting possible ideas. However, the solid plot was halted a little by very slow pacing - the film took its time to get to the actual plot and looking back, I don't really know why it took so long. The plot was also actually pretty thin - it didn't have much to it. I think the film should of spent less time setting the film up and more time on producing an entertaining story with good pacing. The twists and turns were good and were ones that you couldn't really see coming - I didn't expect Central Intelligence to be as smart as it ended up being. 

This is an action-comedy - the action part is pretty good and all of the action sequences are strong. However, the comedy element is not as strong. There are a handful of laughs but there are no big laugh out loud moments which every comedy film should have. The audience watching was laughing quite a lot so it might depend on your sense of humour but the jokes here were nothing special. I also would like to question the rating of this film - it is a 12A but there are far too many rude jokes for a 12A? I'm not really sure I would advise you see this with your children. Central Intelligence will make you at least smile which is something at least. 

The performances were not what I expected - I thought Kevin Hart would be the 'jokester' and Dwayne Johnson would be the 'serious one'. However, it was almost the opposite and I don't know how I feel about it. Seeing Dwayne Johnson act OTT was a little hard to believe at first and his performance was slightly uneven as at times he was super hyper and OTT and at other moments he was pretty serious. I will give credit to Hart as he didn't scream as much in this film and was tolerable. I thought Johnson and Hart were a good duo and I wouldn't be surprised if we see a sequel to this film soon. There are a few surprising cameos in this film that are very effective - the best one was Melissa McCarthy who I did not expect at all - I thought she was very funny and I am pleased they didn't give her involvement away in the trailer. 

Central Intelligence is a pretty average film - the action is solid but the comedy is not as good. There aren't that many jokes that land. The film is an original property but the story is a little generic and slow but is surprisingly smart at times. The acting is solid and the chemistry between Johnson and Hart is strong. This is a film that will please the audience is targeting but it might not have much success outside of that audience. If only some of the intelligence from the plot could have been put into the comedy...

3 STARS
C+

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