Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart Have a Bromance
By Skip Sheffield
“Central Intelligence” is further proof we never leave high school.
Calvin “The Golden Jet” Joyner (Kevin Hart) is diminutive in size but big man on campus due to his sports prowess and his all-around winning personality He is the most popular member of the class of 1996.
Robbie Weidrich (Sione Kelepi) is clumsy, fat and shy. In a cruel prank, Robbie is dragged naked from the boys’ shower and thrown out on the gym floor to gales of laughter. The only one not laughing is Calvin, who lends Robbie his “Golden Jet” letterman jacket to cover himself as he exits humiliated.
Robbie never forgot that act of kindness. He grows up and shapes up and adopts the name Bob Stone. He looks just like Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, because he is. On the eve of the Class of 1996 20-year reunion Bob, who, who has reconnected with Calvin via Facebook, is now a CIA agent. He shows up at Calvin’s accounting firm. He needs a little accounting help to retrieve some numbers of offshore bank accounts held by people up to no good.
Calvin is happily married to Maggie (Danielle Nicolet), his high school sweetheart. They were Prom King and Queen and they have been together ever since. Calvin wants no part of Bob Stone’s caper, but Bob is persuasive and flattering, calling Calvin a “snack-sized Denzel.” In the tradition of all mismatched buddy movies, Calvin grudgingly enters Bob’s dangerous world of intrigue.
That’s really all you need to know about plot. “Central Intelligence” entertains on the strength of its two main characters. Kevin Hart is a naturally funny man. He makes the most of his small size, especially in contrast to the mountainous Dwayne Johnson.
Johnson has become quite a comedian, mostly at his own expense. His character of Bob Stone has some absurdly offbeat quirks. He loves and always wears a fanny pack. His favorite movie is “16 Candles” and he adores Molly Ringwald. On the other hand he is a walking lethal weapon,well- versed in weaponry and hand-to-hand combat.
Amy Ryan is Agent Pamela Harris, who may or may not be a villain. Aaron Paul is Phil, definitely a black hat. The director is Rawson Marshall Thurber, who has shown a way with subversive comedy in “Dodgeball: A True Underdog Story” and “We Are The Millers.”
“Central Intelligence” is mindless summer entertainment, but who wants to think? Loosen up and laugh it up and save the serious stuff for fall.