A Reel Life film section

Issue: Summer 2015-6

Central Intelligence (2016) movie review

It Takes Hart and Johnson

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movie poster, Central Intelligence, Festivale film review; 220x326

Movie poster, Central Intelligence
Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson

The story follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high-school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former "big man on campus" (Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days.

Kudos to Dwayne Johnson for embracing his fanny pack. He told Jimmy Fallon that he used to to keep "pop tarts and condoms" and that "he was just kidding about the condoms".

The U.S. puts such emphasis on high school, and high school sports, that there are many people who peak before they really get started on life. Calvin Joyner (Hart) is one of these people. He has a cubicle career, a beautiful wife, and a mundane future. In an effort to avoid counselling with his wife, he makes a date to meet with the class geek, now going by the name Bob Stone (Johnson).

movie still, Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence, Festivale film review; 500x333

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence (c) 2016 Universal Pictures

This is where the ugly cynet reveals itself to have become the swan. Well, maybe no. Gone is the short fat guy. Bob Stone is big, black, beautiful, built, with kick-ass fighting moves, and he still hero-worships Joyner and wears a fanny pack. The geek is strong in this one.

Of course, Stone is an agent, under pressure, in danger, and he draws the hapless Joyner along with him.

What did you expect? But this is a great fun movie. The slapstick is controlled and never ill-meant. The speed is good, the characters have motivations, and the special effects are just the wrong side of believeable that makes them laughable without slowing down the movie.

movie still, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in Central Intelligence, Festivale film review; 500x333

Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in Central Intelligence (c) 2016 Universal Pictures

This movie is definitely going in my "watch when I want to feel good" pile. It's light, it's bright, it's not challenging, and it's life-affirming.

Seriously, I think The Rock just wanna have fun, let's join him.

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by Ali Kayn
Australian release 30 Jun 2016
For credits and official site details, see below
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Just the facts:

Title: Central Intelligence (2016)
Written by: Barinholtz, David Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber (scr); Barinholtz & David Stassen (story)
Directed by: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Running time: mins

The Players: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul, Danielle Nicolet

Official website:
IMDb entry

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