After “Dodgeball” and “We’re the Millers” director Rawson Marshall Thurber presents himself with the humorous spy story “Central Intelligence” again as a comedy specialist and has thereby, in addition to many gags and some action, two real aces up its sleeve: Before they will occur together in the upcoming remake of “Jumanji”, the stand-up comedian Kevin Hart (“the jail Coach”) and the charismatic muscle man Dwayne Johnson (“Furious 7”, “San Andreas“) star already together in this hearty and also quite soulful buddy movie. They match perfectly and just complement each other well in their opposition. Especially the self-deprecating acting Johnson comes over very sympathetic in his scenes – the badly generic storyline is so absolute secondary.
At the High School the overweight Robbie Weirdicht was an outsider who had to endure extremely nasty pranks. Only the ever-popular sports star Calvin “Golden Jet” Joyner (Kevin Hart) not laughed over Robbie. 20 years later Robbie ,the chubby laughing stock of the school, become a CIA agent who has his body hardened by daily training and who calls himself meanwhile Bob Stone. He wants to recover stolen satellite codes and prove his boss, Agent Harris (Amy Ryan) that he is not a traitor. In this situation he slithers back into the life of Calvin just before their anniversary school reunion. Calvin ekes out a now no longer so glamorous life as an accountant in a dreary office. After a pub crawl with Bob the frustrated ex-athletes suddenly finds himself in the middle of a spy plot.
The Writers Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen, who currently are also working on the script for the reboot “Police Academy: Next Generation” , poach openly for their plot in the districts of James Bond, Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne, and thus set the stage for the comic duo Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson. The center In “Central Intelligence” is the dynamics between unequal partners Hart and Johnson.
The narrow accountant and the muscular Agent just optically already display a curious team. These gives Kevin Hart the former sports star Calvin something like subdued cockiness while the imposing 1.96-meter man Dwayne Johnson endows the tough spy Bob with childishly naive enthusiasm. If it needs to be, the spy with the preference for weapons and unicorns completes a bar fight with a few deft hand movements, but inside he is still the sensitive outsider, for who the “Golden Jet” Calvin continues to be the measure of all things . Through all the hustle and bustle the performer a giving this movie a thoroughly convincing emotional component. Through the joint adventure and the unconditional admiration by Bob the stumbling Calvin learns again to be the hero of his own story while Bob manages in return to forget the soul burning injuries from school.
The way to the big final is arranged by Rawson Marshall Thurber with a lot of small and large gags, often aimed at the physical disparity between the gentle giants and the little chatterbox – for instance when Johnson weighs his partner like a baby in his arms. In between there are neat chases and gunfights and sometimes a daring leap from a skyscraper, which is accompanied as reminiscent of the school of the protagonists with the rocking “Song 2” by Blur. For further splash of color that guest appearances by Jason Bateman (“Horrible Bosses”) , Thomas Kretschmann (“King Kong”) or Melissa McCarthy (“Spy – Susan Cooper Undercover”), while the regular supporting characters – especially Calvin Danielle Nicolet played wife Maggie – remain quite pale.
Conclusion: Solid, entertaining buddy action comedy with the duo Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart in a playful mood.
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