Central Intelligence (2016)

Central Intelligence is the new buddy cop action flick starring Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson (tagline: Sometimes you need a little hart and a big Johnson). I enjoyed the first trailer to this and I’m happy to say it’s consistently and continuously laugh out loud funny. It’s not the best comedy ever by a long shot, but it’s consistent, thorough and one of the better ones this year. And the actors (especially Johnson/The Rock) are all in. Total commitment.
 
What’s best about the flick is that Kevin Hart is kind of playing the straight man in a type of film he’d usually be playing the hyperactive spazoid (like in the Ride Along movies). Yes, he does scream and act up a bit but he’s really playing the straight man to The Rock’s unicorn-loving, moon-eyed manchild. The Rock’s performance here would almost be one note except they give him room to actually portray a character with real psychological sadness. You know, in between his almost manic over-the-top comedy.
 
You see, The Rock plays a character who was very fat in high school and was bullied constantly. After school, he solved that problem by just working out 8 hours a day for 20 years… but he’s got a bad case of arrested development and, even though he looks like The Rock, he still acts like that young nerdy kid. Which is the source of the comedy – The Rock non-ironically wearing jorts and a fanny pack while just being super HYPED about everything (especially ‘corns). He’s also super JAZZED about Kevin Hart’s character who was the class president, super jock, and star of High school production of Hamlet. The Rock is fanboying over Kevin Hart.
 
Yeah, there’s a plot in this buddy cop action comedy so you have a decent amount of ok action and spy movie cliches. Almost none of this matters but I don’t think it ever drags the movie down. Hey, maybe you’ll really be into who has the digital cyphers to unlock the code to do the thing before that other thing happens.
 
So, yeah, this is a surprisingly funny movie. It’s not going into the pantheon of all-time great comedies but its easily Kevin Hart’s best film work that I can recall. He isn’t as annoying as usual and The Rock is totally selling his weird performance. It’s worth checking out.
Score: 86

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