Tony's Take


Central Intelligence posterSaving the World takes a Little Hart and a Big Johnson

Ever since filming had begun on “Central Intelligence”, we could see through social media and their press events that Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson had remarkable chemistry; whether from their funny Instagram videos talking-smack about each other to their kind tweets and remarks.  “Central Intelligence” follows Calvin “The Golden Jet” Joyner, who was the King of his High School; he medaled in all sports, named Prom King, and was voted most-likely to succeed.  20 years later, Calvin is an accountant and has married his high school sweetheart, Maggie.  As their high school reunion inches closer and closer, he starts to feel disappointment about how his life has turned-out and he doesn’t want to face his fellow classmates.  Then, out of the blue, a man named Bob Stone (real name Robert Weirdic) re-connects with him through Facebook; the last time anyone saw him he was humiliated and thrown-naked into a gym full of his classmates.  The only one to offer help, Calvin.  However, Robbie has shed 200 pounds and is now working for the CIA.  Their new-found friendship comes with a stipulation though, Calvin is now wanted by the CIA because Bob is allegedly a fugitive.  Calvin must decide where his loyalty belongs, either with his newly-found friendship or with the CIA, and help Bob solve his case of The Black Badger (if he’s telling the truth) and save the World.  Along the way Calvin realizes, with the help of Bob, that his life is not a failure and that life is whatever you want it to be.

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart star as the film’s two leads, Bob Stone (Robbie Weirdic) and Calvin “The Golden Jet” Joyner.  The two share remarkable chemistry, each adding their own wit and charm for the jokes which makes the delivery easier and the effect that much funnier.  Amy Ryan plays the head agent chasing-down Bob, Agent Pamela Harris.  Danielle Nicolet plays Calvin’s wife, Maggie.  Aaron Paul plays Bob’s former partner, Phil.  Ryan Hansen plays a man named Steve.  Tim Griffin and Timothy John Smith play two CIA Agents, Stan Mitchell and Nick Cooper.  Sione Kelepi plays the young version of Robbie.  Trevor, a bully from high school, is played by Jason Batman, with the young version being played by Dylan Boyack.  Thomas Kretschmann has a brief role as The Buyer.  There is also a hilarious cameo at the end of the film, but I won’t tell you who it is!

“Central Intelligence” sets-off to be a typical run-of-the-mill buddy comedy, but with witty jokes, phenomenal chemistry, and a detailed-woven story line, the film manages to exceed expectations and provide plenty of laughter!  First of all, the duo of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson is outstanding!  Their chemistry provides plenty of laughter, but also depth, making us care about the characters and cause us to be that much more enveloped in the film.  In addition to the main duo, the supporting cast offer their own comedic strengths and provide plenty of entertainment as well.  The film really thrives due to its, albeit outlandish, story.  There are multiple layers to the plot, which has you constantly guessing which way the story will turn next.  One thing I didn’t remember until after the film was that it was rated PG-13, but it doesn’t seem like it at all.  “Central Intelligence” proves you don’t have to be dirty or raunchy to make a successful comedic film (which is quite refreshing).  While the film is primarily a comedy, there are many action sequences throughout as well.  The problem is that they just are not memorable; they serve the story but they are anti-climactic one of the only complaints I had for the film.  However, there are more than enough laughs that save it from being a major issue.  “Central Intelligence” has a run time of 104 minutes and other than its slow begging, keeps a decent pace from start-to-finish.  I went-in with mediocre expectations for “Central Intelligence”, but after nearly two hours of laughter and pure entertainment, I walked out of the theater with a big smile on my face thoroughly entertained!  Opening-up against the soon-to-be giant “Finding Dory” will be a challenge, but there are plenty of laughs and quality to help it have a strong box office run!

“Central Intelligence” has two “new” friends on the run from the CIA trying to save the World, all while getting-ready for their High School Reunion.  The film features plenty of laughs, my new favorite comedic duo of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, and an intricate story.  If you are looking for laughs this weekend (and don’t have to bring the kids), go see “Central Intelligence”!!    

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CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE is rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language, in theaters June 17th!




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