Central Intelligence

Movies, Comedy
3 out of 5 stars
Central Intelligence

This average action comedy is rescued by the seriously lovable Dwayne Johnson.

Here’s definitive proof that a single performance can make an entire film. The premise of Central Intelligence is simplistic and underwhelming: A former high school star turned dull accountant (Kevin Hart) teams up with former bullying victim turned CIA agent (Dwayne Johnson) to take down a terrorist mastermind. The script is equally lazy, and Hart offers his usual tiresome, overcooked "LOOK AT ME—I’M BEING FUNNY" shtick. So thank the movie gods for Johnson, who delivers a performance of such charm, such unexpected goofiness that the screen practically glows every time he appears.

It doesn’t begin well: We first meet Johnson in a creepy CG-enhanced fatsuit as a chubby teenage nerd Robbie, whose horrible high school experience is relieved only by the kindness of Hart's football hero and student-most-likely-to-succeed. But 20 years later it’s a different story: Calvin is washed up and bored with his dead-end life, while Robbie has become a globetrotting superspy with a fetish for unicorns.

There’s literally nothing unlovable about Johnson’s performance, hitting a perfect balance between traumatized adolescent, unbreakable superhero and overexcited man-child (think a peak-form John Candy trapped in the body of, well, the Rock). And even more impressively, he makes it all look completely effortless, breezing through the movie while Hart jumps frantically up and down and stuff explodes pointlessly in the background.

By: Tom Huddleston


Release details

Rated: PG-13
Release date: Friday June 17 2016
Duration: 114 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Screenwriter: Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, Rawson Marshall Thurber
Cast: Dwayne Johnson
Kevin Hart
Danielle Nicolet
1 person listening