Central Intelligence:Better Than Expected
Just when we thought we have had enough of Kevin Hart, the action comedy film "Central Intelligence" proved why we all love him.
The story follows a one-time bullied geek named, Bob (Dwayne Johnson), who grew up to be a confident fanny-pack wearing, unicorn loving lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case to secure satellite codes, Bob enlists the help of former "big man on campus" Calvin (Kevin Hart), now an accountant who misses his glory days.
The commercial slogan "Little Hart, Big Johnson" is true in more ways than one. With all the "Hart overload" these last few years, it was quite refreshing to see Hart take the back seat in the movie. In the film, he plays a solemn, mild-mannered accountant. Without forcing his comedic side, Hart's character was still funny. As for Johnson, he turns things up by showing off his comedic side. In a way, the movie plays a reversal of expectations. Although Johnson's role was somewhat over-the-top, his character was lovable. It was fun to watch and it really worked well.
"What really caught my attention and appealed to me was the idea of taking this premise and flipping it on its ear," says Johnson, "putting me in more of the comedy role and putting Kevin, one of the world's most successful comedians, a guy who's just on fire, in more of the straight role. So we're both thrown into a scenario where we have to stretch and work some different muscles, and then somewhere it all intersects and we meet in the middle."
The other great thing is that the trailer did not give away the other cast members in the film.
"Central Intelligence" also stars Amy Ryan ("Bridge of Spies", "The Office"), Danielle Nicolet (TV's "The Game"), Melissa McCarthy ("Spy", "Tammy") and Aaron Paul (TV's "Breaking Bad").
The film was directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber ("We're the Millers", "Dodgeball") from a screenplay by Ike Barinholtz and Davud Stassen and Rawson Marshall Thurber; story by Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen. It was produced by Scott Stuber, Peter Principato, Paul Young and Michael Fottrell. The executive producers were Toby Emmerich, Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco and Ed Helms.
Without revealing too much, "Central Intelligence" was not only an action comedy, but a story with a message that may pull on your heart strings, no matter how big or small you are. The film recognizes some of the larger issues that lurk beneath the surface of every grown-up hero, such as standing up to bullies, becoming the person you want to be and not being limited by your past. A repeated quote that was used throughout the film that can actually be a life lesson for many was, "to be the hero of your own story." Luckily, with the help of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, they keep you laughing even with the underlying message.
Johnson's character went from being bullied and humiliated in high school, to a "rock" of a man who feels proud and good about himself. As for Hart's character, he went from being "most likely to succeed" in high school to being dissatisfied with his ordinary life, but with the help of Bob, he learns to appreciate what is right in front of him.
"I know some people are afraid to show the side of themselves that is not necessarily the coolest, but it exists. Calvin and Bob are examples of how being a dork can be cool, too. So, it is okay to endorse your dorky side. I hereby endorse you to endorse your dorky side," said Hart.
You have to embrace who you are," Johnson concurs. "When you are 14, 15, 16 years old, it is tough. You have the weight of the world on you shoulders; there are identity issues and insecurities and we all go through it. I am here to tell you the most powerful thing you can be is yourself... and if you happen to have a fanny pack handy, wear that sucker with pride!"
Bringing all of these elements together and bringing it all home for audiences, Thurber concludes, "I hope it is a great time at the movies - a lot of laughs, a little bit of a puzzle, just a big delicious comedy cheeseburger. And I hope that, at the end, people will feel something, too, because this a story with heart."
One thing for sure, Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson are an amazing comedy-duo. The energy is great and will have you laughing out of your seat. This is a summer action comedy you will not want to miss. "Central Intelligence" hits theaters nationwide June 17, 2016.