Central Intelligence follows the story of Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson), who was bullied in school, and who reunites with big man on campus Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) before their 20 year high school reunion. ‘Most Likely to Succeed’ Calvin has grown up to be a mild mannered accountant who is largely disappointed in his life, while Bob has lost his high school puppy fat and bulked up to become a lethal CIA agent.
Claiming to be on a top-secret case, Bob enlists the help of his old friend to solve a crime. Calvin is pretty freaked out as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed.
This film is a pleasant surprise in so many ways. The plot is simple enough to be light-hearted entertainment, yet has twists and turns to be engaging and clever. The stunts are exciting and well executed.
The best bit, though, would have to be Johnson and Hart’s onscreen chemistry. Most of the funny lines go to Johnson, who delivers them perfectly, and Hart sets him up for them like a pro. The pair are absolutely hilarious together and there is never a dull moment in the script. With brilliant performances from accompanying actors, Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet, Jason Bateman and Aaron Paul, Central Intelligence is non-stop action and giggles from start to finish.
Central Intelligence is a comedy that works on many levels. It’s great laugh, superbly acted and very engaging. It gets a little weird at times and Johnson’s character is quite whacky, but he holds himself well, so it’s easy enough to be swept away by the narrative.
Reviewed by Libby Parker