Central Intelligence 1.0 stars

Central Intelligence movie poster

The premise is an agreeably loopy take on the notion that no good deed goes unpunished: when chubby teenager Robby Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) gets tossed naked and wet in front of a school assembly, superstar senior Calvin “Golden Jet” Joyner (Kevin Hart) lends him his letterman jacket for coverage. Twenty years later, Joyner is an unfulfilled accountant and Weirdicht is ultrabuff CIA agent Bob Stone. He’s also socially bizarre, possibly treasonous, and completely fixated on Joyner as both friend and savior. Johnson is admirably committed to his character’s sincere, possibly menacing strangeness, but the movie, less so. Instead, it chooses to rely on Hart’s extended freakouts over his involvement in an international conspiracy, and that conspiracy’s attendant action setpieces. And the eventual resolution is entirely too neat ‘n tidy in light of the (sometimes funny) crazy that precedes it: what began as a dark comedy finishes as a cheerful action drama. Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber. 2016.

Matthew Lickona

This movie is not currently in theaters.

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