“Are you in or are you out?” Bob.
Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson team up to star in a fast-paced tale about two old friends, who grew up to be something totally different then their high school lives would suggest. The movie starts out in 1996. Calvin Joyner (Hart) is about to accept an award, when suddenly the gym doors burst open and a bullied, overweight Robbie Weirdicht (Johnson) is thrown into the gym – naked. Calvin gives Weirdicht his lettermen’s jacket to cover up as the students laugh and taunt Robbie.
Fast forward twenty years. Married to his high school sweetheart, Calvin’s life turns out to be totally different than he imagined. He is an accountant, but his wife is a partner in a law firm. On the day Calvin and his wife Maggie (played by Danielle Nicolet) are scheduled to go to marriage therapy, a “chance” Facebook friend request reunites Calvin and the boy/man he once tried to save from embarrassment. Weirdicht has changed his name and is now in the CIA.
Central Intelligence is about the reunion of these two high school “friends”. Calvin and Weirdicht work together, albeit very reluctantly on Calvin’s part, to solve the mystery, capture the Black Badger and save the world. Throughout the movie Calvin is conflicted in his desire to believe in his old friend and the evidence pointing to the fact that Weirdicht might actually be the bad guy.
Other actors in Central Intelligence include, Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone) plays Agent Pamela Harris. Aaron Paul (Breaking Bad) and Ryan Hanson (Veronica Mars). Jason Bateman and Melissa McCarthy have uncredited roles.
Great movie moments:
Watching Central Intelligence is like watching a Kevin Hart standup comedy routine with the bad words cut by two-thirds.
Hart and Johnson make a great comedic team.
Pay attention to the little detail in the film, for example Calvin's jacket, it will come back around. I like when a movie brings closure to even the smallest details.
Not-so-great movie moments:
The song “My Lovin” by EnVogue played relentlessly in my head after the movie...and I went to the matinee so it was a long day.
Weirdicht makes his re-appearance with a fanny-pack and a Unicorn t-shirt. I’m not sure of the look or personality they were going for, but it was a little uncomfortable watching his character at times. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what was making me uncomfortable, perhaps it was the change from watching Johnson’s character in action flicks like the Fast and Furious.
As with many of his movies, Johnson plays the character over-the-top.
Overall, I give this movie a three out of five stars. It didn’t quite live up to the hype.
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Rating: PG-13, some language, some nudity (and not the good kind, but the kind you can’t un-see), some violence.
Run time: 107 minutes