Central Intelligence (B-)
My time while I was living in France was valuable. I went to the movies only when a movie deemed it necessary (ID: Resurgence is the only exception, and yes crazy me, I liked most of it). In France, most major movies, not just “tent pole” ones come out the same day or lucky us, before they do in America. Sadly there are what one would consider a big film and it comes out weeks or months after. Central Intelligence was one of these. So either I was too busy or didn’t care enough to see it in the theater. I am glad though because even the trailers I had stayed away from this movie. I read no other reviews and Collider had not said it was truly awful and I usually value their staff’s opinion.
So the other drawback of not seeing this right away is Kevin Hart. I am not a fan. I have and will likely never see the Ride a Long movies, nor many of the other lame looking comedies he has been in. The two prior to this movie though were, Get Hard, ugh I know…and the boxing movie (forgot the actual name) with Stalone and Dinero. That movie was actually not all crap and Hart was one of the best parts.
So CI. Rock is now the funny guy and Hart is the sarcastic but serious guy. The role reversal works. Yes each at times ham it up a little bit but it never takes me out of the movie, even the slapstick stuff like Hart failing on his back flips. I love, even if fake, people smashing their faces. So Hart is playing Calvin. He is the cool guy from high school. Mr. Popular, all scholastic, all awards, and etc; He isn’t a jerk though. The Rock plays Robbie Weirdicht (pronounced as is while you laugh), when back in high school is fat, a geek, and constantly harassed.
With the upcoming 20 year reunion, Hart is at a crossroads in his life. He has married his high school sweetheart and is healthy, has a home and all that, but he is not some super rich guy with “the life” as was predicted by his school. As he sits in his office at work, just learning he was passed over by a younger go getter, he receives a friend request on Facebook. He doesn’t recognize the name but accepts anyways. This person, Bob Stone quickly tells Calvin that he is Weirdicht and that he is in town and so they decide to grab drinks that night. After some talking and a quick bar fight, Calvin is sensing something is amiss with Bob. When they get back to Calvin’s home, Bob asks about a financial matter and uses his computer to try to access files that show a black market arms deal. The next the CIA arrives and informs Calvin that Bob is a traitor, believe to be the actual person trying to acquire the illegal arms. For the next 40 minutes the action plays out with one section cut into all that action with a very funny scene that takes place at couples therapy, set up by Calvin’s wife.
From there the duo travel from D.C. to Boston and track down the buyers and hope to resolve the out of hand situation. The ending offers some revealing insights at how Bob sees things with people he gets close to and we will say they are not always what he sees out of his own eyes.
A few cameos and one of them an extended one offer more context to the film and helps the movie try to create a twist on who is or is not faithful to the CIA.
Overall this movie works. It is similar to SPY from last year. It takes what most think is another silly spy comedy and makes you interested in the characters and feel for them because as well know…HIGH SCHOOL SUCKS!