Central Intelligence Review

Central Intelligence
  • Directing5
  • Writing5
  • Acting7

Rawson Marshall Thurber's Central Intelligence is a waste of two perfect leads, despite both Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart's oddball chemistry. The film's script is too stupid and one-note to merit any sort of value aside from watching The Rock wear a fanny pack.


Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s newest comedy Central Intelligence is one of the un-funniest comedies of the summer, reminding us yet again that two perfect leads don’t make for a great movie, if the script is complete garbage. Central Intelligence flat lines early, despite Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart‘s best efforts to keep it afloat.

Bob Stone (Johnson) was once considered the overweight loser of high school. He had some rough times, which peaked when he was thrown onto the gymnasium floor completely naked in front of the entire student body. The only person that bothered to help him was all-star classmate Calvin Joyner (Hart).

Calvin was one of those students that everybody thought was going to succeed and become a superstar, but he ended up settling for a boring accounting job, despite marrying his high school sweetheart.

This brings us back to Bob — who is now a CIA agent in need of a man with a particular set of skills (CALVIN!).

Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s Central Intelligence plays out exactly like you’d expect it to. It’s a mostly moronic piece of PG-13 comedy that aims for the lowest of stars and yet still barely manages to scrape the surface as a summer film worth wasting money on.

The absolute only reason to even consider watching this train wreck on wheels is the performances of both Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, which aren’t exactly funny, but are at the very least connected with a decent amount of chemistry. Both men know how to be silly and know how to drop the occasional joke.

I generally enjoy Johnson’s comedy, because I find his delivery almost always entertaining. He’s the type of performer that has no problem being a big bad tough guy, yet a giant soft teddy bear.

Central Intelligence has him playing the latter, with an extra dose of awkward.

Johnson makes it work, despite the film’s script focusing too much on the silly for the sake of being funny, yet ending up being completely stupid.

Hart channels a somewhat less annoying version of himself this time around, yet even his comedic skills are wasted on a role that’s just as idiotic as Johnson’s.

The two are given very little to play off of, because of the script’s focus on painting them both out to be complete idiots. There’s an unlikable approach that makes both of them hardly worth watching, which makes the film’s predictable second half feel like a slow and painful death of all things funny.

I’m generally an easy laugh, but even I thought Central Intelligence struggled far too much for a film starring two somewhat big names.

Rawson Marshall Thurber‘s direction is simple and to the point, which highlights some of the gags with a showmanship and understanding of comedic timing, yet a laziness that drags out some of the most boring “action sequences” to hit the screen this summer.

Central Intelligence doesn’t feature enough action to be considered an action film and it’s not nearly funny enough to be considered a comedy.

So, what exactly is it?

I’ve seen it twice (not by choice) now and I still don’t know what type of film that it’s trying to be.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart have both done much better than Central Intelligence and I firmly believe that they both will continue to star in better comedies, because Central Intelligence is a failure from a writing and directing standpoint. It’s boring when it should be exciting and it’s so rarely funny, despite both Johnson and Hart throwing everything they got at the screen, in hopes that at least one or two jokes stick.

Some do, but most of the film is an exercise in patience and a great example of how not to use two of Hollywood’s hottest stars effectively.

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