Central Intelligence features the first on screen pairing of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart. It tells the story of two former high school classmates whose reunion escalates towards a crazy, world-saving, espionage adventure.
In 1996, Calvin Joyner (Keving Hart) was the most popular guy in school, excelled in both academics and extra-curricular activities, and considered by the people around him to be “the most likely to succeed.” On the other hand, Robbie Weirdicht (The Rock) was constantly bullied for being exceedingly overweight and geeky. Only Calvin showed any kindness to him.
Twenty years later, Calvin works as an accountant and is very unsatisfied of how his life turned out to be. He misses his glory days, and is disappointed that he peaked in high school. Meanwhile, Robbie, who now goes by the name of Bob Stone, has become a ripped, badass CIA agent.
Needing his computer and accounting skills, Bob recruits Calvin, who he considers his high school hero and only friend, to help him find the criminal known as the “Black Badger” before he can sell stolen US satellite codes to the highest bidder. And thus, Calvin enters Bob’s world of high-stakes espionage and deadly shootouts. However, he finds himself in a much tighter spot than he already is when he’s told by the CIA that Bob is being delusional, has gone rogue, and is actually the one who stole the codes – things that Bob denies, insisting that he’s framed.
Central Intelligence is not a great buddy action comedy, but it’s also not terrible. It was just okay. The story is not as tight and witty as I wanted it to be, but there are frequent funny moments and it has a passable dose of heart.
The Rock and Kevin Hart displayed great comedic chemistry. They made the whole “buddy action comedy” aspect work. It’s by far the best thing about the movie. However, it’s not at all near to the terrific Lethal Weapon-kind of buddy action comedy that I believe the Rock is destined for. Ever since The Rock and Samuel L. Jackson had that cameo in The Other Guys, I just know then that there’s this awesome, hilarious buddy action comedy headlined by The Rock just waiting to be made (also, his short but delightful interactions with Channing Tatum in G.I. Joe: Retaliation showed me that he’s the right guy to team him up with for that potential Lethal Weapon-level movie – though Tatum already had 21 and 22 Jump Street). Unfortunately, years have passed and it’s yet to be made. Until then, I’ll have movies like Central Intelligence to settle with for the time being as well as be frustratingly reminded of what should have been by now.