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“Central Intelligence” showcases Dwayne Johnson’s comedic chops

central intelligence
Back when he was The Rock, we all saw how charismatic Dwayne Johnson could be, but I don’t think anyone ever expected him to be this apt at comedy. This week, he shows off those comedic skills once again in Central Intelligence, an action comedy that pairs him up with Kevin Hart and more or less just lets him loose. It’s interesting to see him set up as the manic and wild one, as opposed to the straight man of the duo, but that’s the twist here in the film, one that I can definitely appreciate. Honestly, without Johnson, this movie wouldn’t be worth seeing. He almost makes it a quality summer diversion on his own.

This flick is a buddy comedy, essentially, albeit one with action trappings as well. Plot wise, it’s pretty loose, fair warning. In high school, Calvin Joyner (Hart) was the big man on campus, the “Golden Jet”, and had a bright future ahead of him. During those same years, “Fat Robbie” (Johnson) was obese, unpopular, and teased. Fast forward to present day and Calvin is an unhappy accountant, while Robbie has become Bob Stone and works for the CIA. With their reunion coming up, the two cross paths, and Calvin is surprised to find that Bob/Robbie still idolizes him. He also needs his help on a mission, and an adventure begins. Rawson Marshall Thurber directs and co-writes with Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen, while the rest of the cast includes Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet, Aaron Paul, and a bunch of cameos.

Dwayne Johnson 599 × 338

As an action comedy, this is hit or miss, but as a showcase for Johnson’s comic skills, it really works. So far, Johnson has occasionally opted to show off his talent for comedy, with it usually turning out very well for him. He helped steal the show in The Other Guys, for example. I know he’s an action hero, but he’s just as good at comedy, which is saying something. Here he gets to do both, with strong results. Hart is less successful, though he’s less grating than he sometimes can otherwise be. Still, this is Johnson’s show, plain and simple.

I’m keeping it on the shorter side today. Basically, this weekend you can see Central Intelligence and enjoy Johnson doing what he does best…pleasing a crowd. If you’re a fan of his, or a fan of Hart’s, I have a feeling this will you up your alley. Take a look and have fun…

Be sure to check out Central Intelligence, in theaters everywhere tomorrow!

About Joey Magidson

A graduate of Stony Brook University (where he studied Cinema and Cultural Studies), resides in Brooklyn, New York. He contributes to several other film-related websites and is a member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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