So I just saw Central Intelligence and it was alright. I was hoping it would be better than alright because I like Dwayne Johnson, and everyone seems to think that Kevin Hart is hilarious (something that I have yet to find major evidence for).
Honestly, I suppose “alright” is the best compliment someone like me could pay to a modern day American comedy. Unless you count “The Nice Guys” as one, Central Intelligence is the only comedy this year that I did not hate.
The only enjoyable piece of this whole movie was Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. I really enjoyed his character for the most part, and he was the only person in the entire movie that I ended up caring about. He’s the only one with an interesting character arc. And honestly, who doesn’t love The Rock? Every single movie I’ve seen him in has either been dumb or okay, but the guy is just so lovable and fun to watch that I end up enjoying the movie somewhat anyway.
As for Kevin Hart, I thought he dragged the movie down like a pile of bricks. I found almost none of his lines humorous. The vast majority of his lines were either him playing off of some unfunny premise; pointless, observational commentary on what’s going on; or him shrieking like a banshee at all of the shenanigans that Johnson was getting into.
Let me explain the first two points.
What I mean by “playing off the premise”, I mean that some sort of statement is made by a character, and Kevin Hart basically plays off of it. An example would be when the woman CIA leader was investigating Hart around the beginning of the movie, and she says that he seems tense. Almost immediately Kevin Hart starts getting twitchy and exclaims “Woo, boy. Is it getting hot in here? Man, I’m getting so sweaty.” Wow, what groundbreaking strokes of comedic genius.
And by “observational commentary”, I mean exactly that: Kevin Hart’s character mostly serves to make comments on how insane Johnson is. The problem is, I could have made these observations on my own.
Not only that, but Kevin Hart also commentates on other people’s jokes. Here’s an example: at one point, Johnson is complimenting how sharp Hart looked by saying, “Wow, you look like a black Will Smith.” This comment made me smile a little bit, but the smile immediately evaporated when Hart opened his tedious mouth. He just looks at Johnson and says, “Oh wow… not sure if that was a racist comment or not.” Why do people think this guy’s such an amazing comedian again?
The only reason Hart was enjoyable in the film is because it was amusing to see Johnson worship him. Like Johnson’s a more-or-less invincible, hardcore CIA type of guy who does amazing things, and he’s just fawning over Kevin Hart because he was popular in high school. Other then that, Hart was basically a wet blanket throughout the entire movie.
Apart from the duo, the only other interesting person in the film was Jason Bateman who makes a short appearance in the film. Not only was his character slightly amusing, but he added additional layers to Johnson’s character at the same time.
Kevin Hart’s wife was a walking prop. She serves no real purpose other than to give Hart’s character a “relatable” sense of purpose. The movie completely forgets about her at parts. The CIA lady was unexceptional. And that one white guy who Kevin Hart worked with during the beginning of the movie almost made me want to walk out of the film. He’s basically a walking internet meme mixed with a jerky stereotypical frat boy. These type of meat-head, misogynistic, meme characters appear in so many lazy comedies, and they are NEVER funny. WHY DO COMEDIES INSIST ON PUTTING THEM IN???
Also, the “big reveal” of who was the Black Badger? It was so freaking obvious that I literally called it in my head ten seconds after they introduced the concept of the “Black Badger” in the first place.
This is yet another comedy that forgets to pay attention to detail. Especially during the beginning of the movie, there were so many instances where they would introduce a premise, and I would be taken out of the movie because I was noticing details that would have made what just happen nonsensical.
By the way, if there are any ladies who read my blog, I have a question: would you start hitting on a guy who is wearing Johnson’s t-shirt below?
Because there was a woman character at a bar who was practically throwing herself at him while he was wearing that unicorn shirt, and it bugged the ever loving crap out of me. But hey, let me know if you would hit on him despite the t-shirt that looks like he’s a juvenile nerd living at his mom’s house.
The only reason to see this film is Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s performance. It is a good thing he’s such a big dude because he carried the entire movie on his shoulders. Everything that was good about the film was either because of him or because of something that played off of his character. Everything else in the movie was either unexceptional or annoying. If you love American comedies, definitely see this movie because even I liked it a little bit. But if you are like me and hate American comedies, then I am not entirely sure the Johnson’s performance will be worth seeing the rest of Central Intelligence, and I’m giving this movie a 5 out of 10.