One of the more entertaining cinematic ventures of the year, ‘Central Intelligence’ is a conceptually simple affair that thrives thanks to its unlikely combination of Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson.
Two of the industry’s hardest working talents, the duo’s individual flare for comedy is utilised to maximum potential in a buddy action/comedy that succeeds as both a genre entrant and a positive enforcer of anti-bullying; a comedy with a conscious – who would’ve thought?
Setting up its eventual Hart/Johnson bond, the film recaps their 20-year span when in high-school a seriously overweight Robbie (Johnson) was the victim of a cruel prank, one that only star student Calvin (Hart) refused to acknowledge.
After coming to his aid, Robbie left the school with only Calvin as his happiest memory, so as their 20th high school anniversary looms it seems more apt than ever for the two to reconnect.
It goes without a surprise (to the audience) that the formerly plump Robbie is now considerably buff, and his career turn as a secret agent allows a handful of amusing fish-out-of-water scenarios to take place as Calvin unwillingly tags along – his involvement stemming from his advanced accounting skills.
As the film jumps about between a genuinely funny comedy and a stylish-enough actioner, ‘Central Intelligence’ manages to keep itself afloat through the surprisingly restrained straight-man routine of the unimposing Hart and the alarmingly adorable Johnson whose larger-than-life stature is perfectly offset by his child-like personality.
Central Intelligence is in cinemas on Thursday. Watch the trailer below: