Back in 1996, Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) was the king of high school when he reigned as the star of every team, President of the student body, Homecoming King and the man voted Most Likely To Succeed.
Twenty years later, while he did marry his high school sweetheart, Calvin finds himself dissatisfied with the life he leads working as an accountant and never achieving his goals. All of that is about to change.
As the 20-year reunion approaches, Calvin is contacted by Rob Stone (Dwayne “Let’s Just Keep Calling Him The Rock” Johnson). Rob was a nerd in high school who suffered horrible bullying, and only Calvin was ever nice to him.
Now, Rob needs Calvin’s help, again. While he is an agent for the CIA, Rob is on the run because he has been accused of killing his partner and stealing secret codes, so he can sell them to terrorists.
Is Rob being framed?
If it wasn’t for Hart and The Rock, Central Intelligence would have been arrested for impersonating a comedy.
Writers Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen, along with writer/director Rawson Marshall Thurber, make Central Intelligence into a hodge podge of just about every type of film genre you can imagine.
They try to make Central Intelligence into a buddy comedy, an action film, a spy thriller, a drama, a tale opposed to bullying and more. Heck, the only thing it is missing is the ghost of Andre The Giant possessing The Rock to make it into a horror film.
I guess the idea was to make the movie into one that had a little something for everyone, but the result is a film no one can completely embrace, especially when it becomes as predictable and rote as you can imagine.
Thankfully, The Rock and Hart are a great pair together. Their spirit and their chemistry is why the audience finds more than enough chances to laugh. With the obvious, classic combination of complete opposites, most jokes write themselves, but the two bring these characters to life in ways the script does not.
The Rock is at his finest as a man who appears to be slightly deranged and completely enamored with the former Big Man On Campus. He makes Rob into a lovable, huggable teddy bear trapped inside the body of a professional wrestler, which leads to him scoring the biggest laughs throughout Central Intelligence.
Meanwhile, Hart excels as the man in way over his head. Sadly, he gets stuck with some of the more unimaginative crassness, but you will like him as the straight man to The Rock’s comedic performance.
Central Intelligence could have used a bit more intelligence, but still provides enough humor to get you through the night, especially if you enjoy the surprise cameos.
2 ½ Waffles (Out of 4)
Central Intelligence is rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language.