“Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson” – so says the doozy of a tagline for Central Intelligence, the new comedy film from audience favourites Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.
So, is any good?
A young Bob Stone (The Rock) was the fat kid bullied at school. When he is thrown naked in front of the whole school auditorium by some punk kids that give him the nickname “weird d*ck” (wow creative). The jock of the school Calvin Joyner (Hart) takes pity on the young Rock and gives him his jacket to cover his bits (heart-warming). Cut to the present day, and he is no longer a fat kid, he is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Now a kick-ass CIA agent. After all these years Bob tracks down Calvin, to help him with a job he is working on. Calvin is thrown into the world of espionage as they run away from some people, shoot guns, and just generally try to prevent world-wide chaos.
Hilarity should have ensued, but I am not so sure that it did…The Rock and Kevin Hart were good; they have great on screen chemistry and the movie definitely improves when the leads come together. It’s just that the premise of the Central Intelligence is annoying and predictable, and the jokes do not hit the mark for me. It feels like The Rock has played this character more than once before. Perhaps Hollywood should think about giving him a different role that he can really sink his biceps into.A friend of mine says that if a movie passes the “six-times-laugh-out-loud test” then it is a good comedy. So you need to laugh out loud, I mean really have a good belly laugh – at least six times. Now I didn’t sit there and count my laughs (I started to, but then forgot, because they were scarce). However, there were a few things that did make me laugh. The Rock takes off his jumper to reveal a unicorn t-shirt, already funny simply because it’s a unicorn t-shirt, he then points to his shirt and says “I love the ‘corns”. He also wears a fanny pack all of the time, even to bed, which made me giggle, perhaps even shoulder shake laugh – Even then it still wasn’t laugh out loud funny, it was more like, oh yeah I see what they’re doing there, that’s funny, ha!
The audience in my screening actually laughed a lot during the film. Perhaps they had consumed pre-drinks that I was not aware of? Even the friend that I went with – she also laughed! Was she drunk too? Someone had to be drunk, to laugh so hard at these jokes.
As the credits rolled I had an annoyed expression on my face, before my friend turned to me and, I kid you not, said “that was the best movie I have seen in a long time”! My face turned from a slightly annoyed expression to being both angry and a little disgusted at her.Look, if it happens to be a rainy day, your DVD cabinet is locked and you can’t find the key, your computer won’t play your legally downloaded files for some weird reason, the only film that is available on TV is Central Intelligence… then by all means, give this flick a go! The movie made almost all of its budget back on opening weekend in the U.S…So who looks like the jackass now? Now who’s laughing?! Well not me, I am at best having a shoulder-shaking chuckle, definitely not laughing out loud six times.
CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE is released in Australian cinemas NOW