‘Central Intelligence’ Squanders the Charms of its Leading Duo

VANAPHASE™ the Vanadium powerhouse!

central-intelligence-0002

Kevin Hart and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson each have had their own unique path to movie stardom. The combination of the diminutive stand-up comedian and the hulking former wrestler is front and center in the action-comedy Central Intelligence, which sees the two as a former high school classmates with Johnson dragging Hart into the world of espionage. It doesn’t take long to see that the two stars have a strong chemistry together. However, it also doesn’t take long to see that they’re trapped in a woefully witless affair, as director Rawson Marshall Thurber takes the unlikely duo and an interesting concept and trudges along from cliché to cliché while hoping Hart and Johnson can carry the whole damned thing.

Central Intelligence begins with the two as seniors getting ready to graduate high school. Overweight and lonely, Robby Wierdich (Johnson manipulated with some creepy CGI over a body double in these earlier scenes) is bullied and set loose naked in a packed gymnasium as Calvin Joyner (Hart), “the Golden Jet,” is being levied with all the accolades for popular and charmed existence. Noticing the wounded looking Robby’s face, Calvin offers the embarrassed teen his letterman jacket, a gesture of kindness that he’d never encountered before. Though the film will flash-forward 20 years, these characters are entirely shaped and trapped by the shadow of their high school experience.

In the present day, Calvin is haunted by the promise that never came to fruition from his high school years. All he has to show for his life is an expansive suburban home, a marriage to his high school sweetheart Maggie (Danielle Nicolet), and a steady job as an accountant. Calvin’s career is stagnant as he watches former assistants get promoted over him, and his marriage is undergoing a stressful time of marital malaise. Before their upcoming 20-year high school reunion (because everything these characters care about is related to high school), Calvin accepts a friend request from Bob Stone, who turns out to be a reinvented Robby. Not long after the two get together for beers and Calvin allows Bob to stay the night at his place after checking something on the computer for him, CIA Agent Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan) arrives to question Calvin as to Bob’s whereabouts, claiming that Bob is a former CIA agent that killed his partner and is a threat to national security. Now Calvin must figure out if Bob is earnest in trying to unravel a conspiracy to clear his name or if Bob is a madman out to undermine the national interest.

Both Johnson and Hart are game with their characters, with Johnson especially having fun taking on a new dynamic to his persona, but they’re given absolutely nothing to work with. The script credited to Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, and director Thurber (based on a story from Barinholtz and Stassen) simply wallows in clichés from each and every available angle. Aside from a few cameos, there’s not a surprise to be found in Central Intelligence as so many of the film’s story beats and jokes seem like they’ve been pulled from countless other bad movies of vastly superior quality. That lacking sense of unpredictability deprives the film of all the goodwill earned by its leads.

Rawson Marshall Thurber tries to show his eye for action in the various set pieces throughout the film, but it’s truly an eye in need of an optometrist. Whether car chases, gun fights, or fist fights, there’s no rhyme or reason to the shots cobbled together in a vain attempt to mimic the chaotic feel of the modern era’s worst aspects of action filmmaking. Yet Thurber doesn’t employ this aesthetic to parody the genre, instead opting for incomprehensibility due to sheer incompetence.

Like this year’s dismal The Do-Over (but better), Central Intelligence dabbles in a feeble attempt at parodying the buddy action film with diminished returns. That overwhelming sense of been-there-done-that which permeates through every scene is incredibly disappointing as its most rote aspects nullify what could’ve been the film’s most interesting aspect – is Bob Stone really crazy? There’s not even a fraction of the manic mispairings that you could expect from a Shane Black script. (Not that I expected Black-level work from the movie, but at least a sense of playfulness that Black brings to the genre of buddy action films.) All Central Intelligence offers is well-worn clichés and an abundance of pop culture references, few of which land. There’s probably not another movie this year that would start out with so much – a solid leading pair and an absurd concept – and return with such little. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are better than this, and deserve a vehicle to meet their talents. Central Intelligence squanders their talents, and everything else.

Central intelligence
  • Overall Score
2

Summary

The charismatic duo of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are squandered in the cliché-riddled, woefully unfunny Central Intelligence, perhaps the most predictable film of 2016.

YogaOutlet.com

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
The Street Fighter Collection
Shout! Factory is Unleashing ‘The Street Fighter’ Collection on Blu-ray

What do you think of when you hear The Street Fighter?...

Donnybrook Review
‘Donnybrook’ Review — A Brutal Journey Into America’s Violent Heart

In director Tim Sutton’s adaptation of Frank Bill’s novel Donnybrook, positive...

Long Shot Trailer
Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron Aim for the Oval Office in the Trailer for ‘Long Shot’

The impending hell that will be the 2020 presidential campaign has...

Event News Event Reviews
WhiskyX
WhiskyX is Coming back to Los Angeles January 25, 2019

WhiskyX, the cross country whisky discovery platform, is coming back to...

Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure: Music, Comedy & Comic Con Festival, Nov 3-4 in Orange County

In less than a month, Alt 98.7 Presents Big Adventure makes its debut,...

The 9th Annual Brew HA HA Craft Beer Photo Gallery

Photos by FanboyNation Craft Beer Expert, Dave Warner.

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Taco Bell Xbox
The Newest Taco Bell Box is an Xbox – Your Chance to Win a Taco Bell Xbox

Taco Bell and Xbox are partnering up to give fans a chance...

Exclusive Track Premiere from Madden NFL 19!

(July 26, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA) – Lakeshore Records today...

Star Ocean Anamnesis
8.0/10
The Most Intuitively Fun Gameplay of Any Mobile RPG – Star Ocean Anamnesis Review

Star Ocean Anamnesis is hands down the most fun and intuitive gameplay...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Stan Lee, the Co-Creator of the Marvel Universe, Dead at 95

According to reports earlier today, Stanley Martin Lieber aka Stan the...

Five Questions for Gary Morgenstein About ‘A Mound Over Hell’

Gary Morgenstein is a journalist, public relations expert and author with...

Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel
Dark Horse Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic Novel Revealed

Dark Horse reveals new original Disney Ralph Breaks the Internet Graphic...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
Wrestle Crate Pre-Christmas Unboxing

    Welcome to our first unboxing of Wrestle Crate, this...

Eagle Eyes
Protect Your Eyes with Eagle Eyes Glasses – Eagle Eyes TV Kit Review

Eagle Eyes TV Kit review – Feel the difference and get...

Nooligan Talks About His New DC Collectibles Batman Family Line

Visual Artist Nooligan uses the influences of his First Nation ancestry along...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Lion Fight 51 Full Results

February 16, 2018 – Los Angeles, CA – Lion Fight 51...

Bellator 214 Full Results

Los Angeles, CA – Bellator MMA returns to The Forum as,...

WOW – Women Of Wrestling Episode 2 Full Results

WOW – Women of Wrestling hit the ground running on AXS...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the world wide web… of lies! Pt ?

Yet another episode in the Harry Potter and the... arc!

Cultural Junkdrawer Presents: The (kinda) NSFW 2019 AVN Awards photo recap PT 2

Part two of the Photo essay covering the 2019 AVN Awards!...

Fantoy Comics Presents: Harry Potter and the world wide web… of LIES!

Harry just did the nuclear option in convincing Ron not to...

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Coastal Commoners Ep. 9 Happy Thanksgiving!

This week the Commoners discuss some race baiting issues that bothered...

Coastal Commoners Ep 8 – Saying Farewell to Stan Lee

This week the commoner’s say farewell to Marvel Comics legend, Stan...

Coastal Commoners Ep 7 Mid-Term Elections!

Oh the headaches of elections and what can go wrong. We...

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
They Live Vinyl Soundtrack
BUY! Mondo and Death Waltz to Reissue John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’ Soundtrack on Vinyl

Yesterday was the 71st birthday of the great John Carpenter and...

Deadpool 2 Vinyl Giveaway!

We are giving away a copy of Deadpool 2 Score Soundtrack on...

Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack
Blake Neely Behind-the-Scenes Recording of Crisis on Earth-X Soundtrack

Check out this exclusive Behind-The-Scenes video with Blake Neely as he...