Central Intelligence looked to be one of the better comedies of the year but lifeless characters and run of the mill plot make this feature anything but intelligent.
Accountant Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) is thrown head first into a CIA investigation after meeting up with old school friend Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson). After the agency begins looking into the wrong person, it falls on our intrepid heroes to track down the bad guys.
With a slate that includes Dodgeball and We’re the Millers, Rawson Marshall Thurber has a little experience when it comes to comedy. Although his movies could be considered simple, they always manage to strike a chord with audiences. Even though Central Intelligence does try to follow suit, a genuine lack of character depth takes away any human element the film tries to conjure. It’s to be expected that plotline and character background are probably not high on the agenda for a comedy but when there is a focus on grounding the story with morals, it’s this very issue that begins to hurt it the most. When this is paired with both an underwhelming and predictable plot, the result is nothing short of disappointing.
Regardless of the story, one of the better things about the film is the relationship between the two leads, Hart and Johnson. Thankfully, Kevin Hart has dialled his excitement level down to play down to earth Calvin leaving Dwayne Johnson to generate most of the laughs. This balance is perfect, seemingly ironing out the criticisms Hart usually faces while taking advantage of Johnsons strengths. Although the story does falter when Johnson is not on screen, they are together enough for this not to be much of a problem.
Central Intelligence isn’t the hardest film to watch but it’s definitely not the most enjoyable. With a rather uninspiring story, it falls on the lead actors to keep the audience interested. Even though it’s disappointing, it’s almost guaranteed that we will see this comedy duo together again on the big screen. 2.5 out of 5.