“Spoiler Alert! I’m in the CIA.” Cue the laughter as new comedy, Central Intelligence, shoots its way into cinemas.
Central Intelligence, directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber, is a weird but wonderful comedy that mocks the CIA and inspires personal growth.
The film visits the world of Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart), the-most-popular-guy-in-high-school-turned-accountant, struggling to live up to his “voted most likely to succeed” title. His life gets spun around when he’s reunited with Bob Stone, A.K.A Robbie Weridicht (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson), a bullied high school geek, who Calvin once helped out. After accepting a friend request from Bob on Facebook, Calvin inadvertently helps out on a top secret mission. Before Calvin can realise what he’s involved in, he’s thrown into Bob’s world of danger; a life of shoot-outs with the CIA and anyone else who gets in his way – all to stop the resident bad guy, the Black Badger (Thomas Kretschmann), and save the world.
Bob is kick-ass and although he’s changed from an insecure chubby schoolboy to a bicep bulging agent, he still carries the emotional scars of high school. Around Calvin, he reverts to the naïve nerd trying way too hard to impress his high school’s “it” boy, directing comments at Calvin like “You were the best thing about high school,” and “You were the coolest guy in school”.
When Bob says the “Golden Jet” to Calvin (his high school nick name, given for being the golden boy of drama and sports), his spirit is lifted and feels like he has achieved something. Calvin also allows Bob to overcome his high school fears by putting him in uncomfortable situations with old high school acquaintances.
Hart’s Calvin is comical and breaks the tension in “serious” circumstances with quick one liners. He brings the humour and most of the laughs to the movie, while Johnson’s Bob brings the brawn and action.
Throughout the movie, Thurber exaggerates the torture tactics and security methods of the CIA as part of the comedy feel of the movie. In a scene where Bob is “captured” after seeing an old bully from high school, he is put in a room and “tortured for information”. This is played as serious in the movie, but humorous to the audience.
Both Johnson and Hart gel really well together on screen, aided by their real-life friendship. The pair’s constant bickering and genuine affection for each other allows their characters to overcome adversities and brings out classic odd-couple humour; and it is the humour that will make Central Intelligence a success. The film is peppered with quirky one liners like “You’re like a snack-sized Denzel” (Bob) and “You’re like Jason Bourne in jorts” (Calvin), 90’s throwbacks (“whaaaaasssssssaaaaappppp”) and school boy fart jokes- pulling together to make an amusing night out.
If you’re a comedy buff, this movie of perfect for you. – Alicia Camilleri
Top photo from Central Intelligence twitter.