Film Review: Central Intelligence

central-intelligence-3Central Intelligence is a mediocre affair with Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Kevin Hart as the dynamic duo of this action “comedy”. It’s a film with little to offer apart from mindless entertainment. Whilst it does sustain your interest for the duration, sporadically leaving you smiling, the problems are too major and frequent to ignore.

There is a distinct lack of anything special in this film. It’s basically Keanu (2016) but lacks the charm, charisma and narrative handling.

The story is pretty poor. It’s about a once popular man (Kevin Hart) whose mundane life takes a turn into international espionage once he reconnects with a former awkward acquaintance from high school (The Rock). It gets off to a good start and seems like a neat, subversive film. However, the characters soon fumble their way through a thinly veiled espionage tale by the end. It’s half-baked through and through and really does end before you know it.

The film just never does anything truly interesting and gripping with the unique premise. It’s basically all there to ride off the subversive character The Rock plays. It’s an internet joke to see him like this and the film thinks it’s a lot funnier than it is.

I find Kevin Hart insufferable. I don’t find him funny or entertaining at all. It’s a nightmare for me when he’s centre stage because I think he’s whiny and not funny in the slightest. I didn’t see Ride Along 2 (2016) but I thought I’d see this because I am a fan of The Rock. He’s the opposite of Ice Cube in action comedies; he’s charming, charismatic and interesting. Ice Cube is just a blank slate of boring. If I wanted Ice Cube, I’d just listen to ‘AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted’ or ‘Death Certificate’.

The Rock’s character is like marmite here. He’s one part really likable and different, and another part annoying and overbearing. His character was very unbalanced indeed. The film pushed the fragility and social ineptitude a bit too much for my liking. It was a joke which got boring after five minutes. His chemistry with Kevin Hart was good though. Hart’s annoying character traits were occasionally toned down by some nicely choreographed action sequences and subdued arcs.

The action is good. There aren’t as many scenes of violence as you’d like, but when they come, they’re engaging and executed very well. It should have gone more towards the ‘action’ side of action comedy rather than the latter.

You can’t help but get bored with what the film was doing. It went by quick enough that it didn’t matter too much. It actually ended too soon and the abruptness was detrimental to the quality of the film. It just stopped working because of how it rushed things.

Overall, Central Intelligence is an okay, somewhat entertaining action comedy. However, it’s too forgettable, uninteresting and unfunny to be worth seeing.


Written by Luke Compton


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