While there has been substantial promotion for Central Intelligence, critically speaking, a film starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson doesn’t exactly scream “definite success”. Kevin Hart, while being a fantastic stand-up comedian, has not had the greatest luck with his films so far. Get Hard and The Wedding Ringer received overwhelmingly negative reviews, and even box-office success Ride Along was a pretty lukewarm comedy. As for The Rock, his seventeen year movie career has been littered with some disasters (such as Doom and The Tooth Fairy) as well as some cultural gems (such as Welcome To The Jungle and Walking Tall). It’s fair to say that at face value, you wouldn’t expect much from this latest comedy blockbuster. And that’s why the film will pleasantly surprise you.
The plot of Central Intelligence is fairly straightforward. The Rock stars as CIA agent Bob Stone who reunites randomly with Hart’s character Calvin, whom he had been in high school with. He needs Calvin’s expertise in accounting to help him track down a criminal known as the ‘Black Badger’, who has stolen highly valuable intel from the CIA with the intent to sell it on to enemies of the state.
A large portion of the plot is heavily reliant on the fantastic chemistry between Hart and The Rock and how they interact throughout the various events. Both characters form a perfect harmony as a comedy pair as both actors split the gags and jokes right down the middle. There was quite a few times when the cinema erupted into laughter because of the ridiculousness of the two character’s interactions. There is a particular scene where Bob Stone assumes the role of Calvin’s therapist during a couple’s counselling session with his wife that still makes me chuckle days later. That being said, plot-wise, it can be predictable – it’s very easy to see from the beginning where the plot will lead, what events will happen, and when our dynamic duo have a cue to say something witty.
There are some high-profile actors that have minimal roles in the film such as Aaron Paul, Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy, and although they were only on screen for a few short minutes, they were perfectly suited to the characters they portrayed. So while the plot may be pretty basic, a substantial amount of funny sequences and jokes as well as an enjoyable cast are alongside to keep the movie fresh. It’s definitely the best contribution that Kevin Hart has had so far to the world of film, and we can hope that this strain of success continues into his next endeavours. If you’re looking for a film that you will successfully predict within the first five minutes what EXACTLY is going to happen, but want to be able to switch off and have a few chuckles alongside a truly hilarious comedic duo, then Central Intelligence won’t disappoint.
Central Intelligence is on general release now