REVIEW: Central Intelligence (2016) – ManlyMovie

REVIEW: Central Intelligence (2016)


There has been some cynical trash that has come out of Hollywood in the past few years that has dared to call itself ‘comedy’.  I watched those Neighbors movies, Dirty Grandpa and the new ‘National Lampoon’ movies all within relatively close proximity and it all seemed to be a mess of gross out try-harding.  Dick jokes, turd jokes, dildo jokes and diarrhea gags.  It almost makes you fear that the next comedy might feature the same thing.  Forecast: If it features Seth Rogen and James Franco, it probably will.  This movie was a nice change of pace, but forgettable.

‘Central Intelligence’ harkens back to movies like Twins and Planes, Trains & Automobiles.  An odd couple pairing has affable cliff-face Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson team with motor mouth midget Kevin Hart.  In his high school days, The Rock plays a flabby girlie man (the flab was added using CGI), the butt of all the jokes.  Hart, on the other hand, was the ultra jock, so popular that even the Principal was in awe.  But 20 years later Hart is a hen-pecked beta male and Johnson a cross between Jason Bourne and John Rambo.  He is a secret employee for the CIA and a high school reunion prompts Johnson to meet up for some drinks with Hart, leading to an off the rails espionage caper.

There is a fierce chemistry going on between The Rock and Kevin Hart.  I could watch them talk shit, bro-talk and wreck things for a full hour.  The problem is that this movie runs for two hours and relies solely on the two actors enjoying each other’s company.  The script just manages to keep its head above downright awful, occasionally entering ‘so bad it’s good, especially with these guys’ territory.  That’s not enough to recommend a movie like this.  It can’t figure out a plot and defers to aping Jump Street and Twins, neither of which are masterpieces in themselves.

I also get the feeling that the people who made this movie simply wanted to ‘get it over with’ when it came to the action scenes, like the director was out of his comfort zone.  A lot of it is weak, quick and uninspired, with a little too much of the usual baffling cuts and edits.  Apparently, ‘let’s disorientate the fuck out of the viewer’ is still a thing in this industry.

This movie has laughs.  Much of them, I’d guess, created on the fly from the two leads.  But really, should we be looking forward to the possibility of them appearing in the Blu-Ray commentary or blooper reels when it hits home media than the actual movie?  I see a trilogy, and I’m not 100% opposed to it.  Could work I guess, but nothing special with this first shot…