CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE Review — Little Hart, Big Johnson

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Central intelligence reviewSlap my face and call me puerile, the new buddy comedy from Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson had me giggling and guffawing throughout. And no, it had nothing to do with “The Rock’s” perky pecks, although I’m with Melissa McCarthy in her response to them. Her Central Intelligence review would probably be the same as mine: it’s just plain silly fun–the perfect counter programming to Finding Dory, which is anticipated to make gazillions this summer and save a lagging box office.

If your kids want to see FD more than once, the second time they drag you to the theater, you can slip into the Central Intelligence screening and watch Johnson as Bob Stone, still manly even while he’s wearing a fanny pack and a baby blue, unicorn t-shirt. “I’m deep into ‘corns,” he solemnly explains. Seems he’s deep into almost everything ’80’s, the decade that he attended high school with Kevin Hart’s character, Calvin Joyner, who, in an interesting twist, was the Big Man on Campus, while Bob Stone was an overweight dancing fool and the subject of much ridicule. Calvin was the only one who was nice to Bob back then, and Bob has been worshipping him ever since.

We find them on the eve of their 20th high school reunion: Calvin is disillusioned and disappointed that life didn’t turn out the way everyone expected–he is but a humble accountant. Meanwhile, it’s unclear what Bob has been doing, other than bulking up and being tickled pink to establish contact with Calvin.

Before long, it becomes apparent that Bob’s shady profession is “complicated,” and involves the CIA, international larceny, pistol whipping, fights and many a chase, via foot, car and motorcycle. The plot may be light, but the chemistry is substantial, and bits from Jason Bateman and Breaking Bad‘s Aaron Paul (spontaneous applause happens when he spits out his signature, one word catch phrase). Speaking of catch phrases, any film with a tagline of “Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson,” gets my full endorsement.

Rated PG-13

1 Hour 54 Minutes

Get times and tickets at Fandango.com.


CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE Review — Little Hart, Big Johnson

by Lisa Johnson Mandell

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Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell

Lisa Johnson Mandell is an award winning journalist, author and film/TV critic. She can be heard regularly on Cumulus radio stations throughout the US, and on BBC Radio.

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