Now showing in Hong Kong

Film review: Central Intelligence - Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart in not-so-clever spy comedy

Forget the plot, let’s just write some funny dialogue for the two lead characters seems to have been the scriptwriters’ job description for this idiotic comedy. Fans of Johnson and Hart won’t be disappointed

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2016, 8:04am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 12 July, 2016, 8:04am

2.5/5 stars

Idiotic, crude, and sometimes squirm-inducing, this spy comedy about two former school buddies trying to save the world from disaster manages to provide some funny moments. Viewers who choose to stump up the cash for a ticket on the basis of the Dwayne Johnson/Kevin Hart pairing will know what to expect, and won’t be disappointed.

In school, Calvin (Hart) was the most likely to succeed and Bob (Johnson) as the class imbecile. But in later life, Calvin becomes a wimpy accountant, and Bob a muscled CIA superman. Calvin is pulled into Bob’s roller-coaster world when the spy needs someone with his old school friend’s accountancy skills to crack a case. The set-up is squandered when it becomes clear that the only reason the film exists is to showcase a slew of average action scenes.

If there is a story to Central Intelligence, it’s plain the scriptwriters themselves don’t know what it is. The plot has something to do with criminals trying to destabilise the international banking system, but it’s evident that most of the work has gone into the dialogue between Johnson and Hart at the expense of the big picture. The film’s only redeeming feature is that there is some chemistry between the two stars, and in spite of the story’s complete lack of intelligence, they are still fun to watch.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber was responsible for the awful We’re the Millers, and true cineastes will be thrilled to find out that a sequel to that intelligent classic may also be in the works.

Central Intelligence opens on July 14

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