Sorry this is late. Also, tip for all employers: If you want someone with experience, don’t post it as an Entry Level Job!
I don’t like a lot of comedies. It’s just not one of my favourite genres. Some are really good like Ghostbusters or M*A*S*H or Hot Fuzz. Others not so much. I’m really selective when it comes to this genre more than any other, mainly because a lot of comedies these days is stupid people doing stupid things and that’s the joke. It’s why I get nervous about watching a lot of stuff for kids these days…God, I sound old. Black comedy and slapstick tend to be my favourites. The former because taking a serious subject and making it funny is something I find incredibly hilarious and slapstick because I was raised on America’s Funniest Home Videos and was thus conditioned to associate other people’s pain with funny. …I know, I’m terrible. Action comedies tend to be fun too.
I found out about Central Intelligence in the trailers airing prior to Civil War and decided…’Eh, sure. Why not?’ I mean, it had The Rock doing what he does best, looking cool, doing action stuff, and being funny. I haven’t seen enough movies with either actors to really know their acting style, but I liked them here. Oops, getting ahead of myself.
Twenty years prior to the movie, Robbie Weirdicht, played by The Rock, was humiliated on the day of the high school pep rally when a gang of bullies threw him into the gym stark naked while everyone laughed. The only help he received was from his class valedictorian and homecoming king, Calvin Joyner played by Kevin Hart, who helps him cover up so he can leave. Years later, Calvin, now married to his more successful high school sweetheart and stuck in an accounting job, is contacted by Robbie who has changed his name to Bob Stone. Little does he know that their reunion is about to flip Calvin’s world upside down.
Again, I don’t really like comedies and don’t have much experience with them, but I enjoyed this one alright. The comedy’s not great, but it’s not bad either. Some of the jokes made me a bit ashamed to be laughing at them for various reasons, but there were plenty of other good jokes to make up for them. Again, keep in mind my idea of comedy is making light of gruesome stuff and watching people in pain. There is some of that here.
I’ve never seen any of these actors, aside from one or two non leads, in anything before, but they know how to act. I especially give a lot of props to the Rock. Of all the former wrestlers who went on to be actors, and not a lot of them are great actors, he’s probably one of the better ones. There were points in the film where I questioned whether his carefree excited nerdy attitude was genuine or was a manipulation technique, something to lower people’s guards. It also made you question whether or not he was crazy like others believed. He sort of reminded me of Vash from Trigun in that sense. The rest of the cast did fine. I should have expected the identity of the villain considering the movie’s use of multiple interpretations from different points of view though. That’s a failing on my part.
I do take issue with the agents (it’s not a spoiler if it’s in the trailer) just assuming Bob’s crazy based solely on his nerdiness. I mean, just because someone’s a nerd doesn’t mean they’re crazy…at least not murderously crazy. …All humans are crazy. *Eye twitch*
Aside from the above mentioned assumption that nerd = crazy, the plot is actually pretty solid. A former star athlete who peaked in high school and never went any farther, though I’d argue that he married his high school sweetheart and managed to not get her pregnant which is impressive for a film about a former high school jock,and his life, from his point of view anyways, only gets going again when a former classmate, a nerd whom he once helped, comes back into his life leading into a buddy film. It’s only when a nerd, a male nerd who like unicorns and Sixteen Candles no less, becomes his friend that the jock’s life becomes interesting. I want to see more of that done well. I also find it odd that so many people would like one guy in high school, but I’ll defer to movie logic I suppose. Either that or the flashback is from Bob and Calvin’s nostalgia and memories which could be tinted to look a certain way at the past.
Like Now You See Me 2, Central Intelligence is not a bad movie, but it’s also not a great one. It’s a fun movie. You get some laughs, you see some action, you see The Rock do his thing: be funny and shoot some guys, and you get to see a grown ass man in a unicorn shirt beat up some guys in a bar. That’s all you really need sometimes.
…That being said, I hope the next film I see has some more substance to it than “It’s a fun movie”. I should go watch Finding Dory.
…Get in the train car, nerds! We’re going to see Pixar!
(Photo viz Warner Bros. Pictures)