By Ben Nietzel
Duane “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart team up in a story of a two guys with opposite high school experiences who have to team up to save the world… or something.
Pro – Chemistry
Central Intelligence is basically a vehicle to put Duane “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart on the screen together. In this regard, it is a rousing success. These are two incredibly funny, charismatic guys, their chemistry is great. The best parts of the movie are between Johnson and Hart, especially when they are playing it straight and less goofy. They seem to like being around each other, and it’s fun for the audience to tag along.
Pro – Breath of fresh air
In a summer that’s jammed full of superheroes and sequels, it’s nice to have something unique to see at the theater. Action comedy is a precarious thing, and this movie isn’t in the same class as the best of those movies, but it is a nice change of pace in a summer of hopeful blockbuster after hopeful blockbuster. There is some nice nostalgia points for fans of the mid-90’s, and even some funny “meta” humor, the best of which focuses on Johnson’s internet-famous love of a 90’s staple; the fanny pack.
Con – Frankenstein’s monster
The plot is a bit of a mess. I’m certainly not looking for Citizen Kane in a Johnson-Hart vehicle, but at times the movie doesn’t know what it wants to be. There’s over the top violent action, slapstick and juvenile humor, attempts at heartfelt moments, and a commentary about bullying. It’s as if the writer’s had a brainstorming session for a bunch of movie ideas for these two actors, then tried to cram them all together in one film. Keep it simple is a maxim that Hollywood seems to forget way too often. These guys are so good together; the real purpose of the plot is not to get in their way. At times, it fails to do this.
Johnson and Hart are fantastic together and worth the price of admission, even if the movie built around them is not.