“Central Intelligence” isn’t a good movie. But, it’s not terrible. It’s the kind of middle of the road fare that I’ve come to expect from Director Rawson Marshall Thurber. Whether it be Dodgeball, We’re The Millers or this film, it seems like Thurber loses a lot of studio battles. Thurber’s films always begin with interesting enough premises and then the rest of the film feels compromised. Also, what is up with the director’s obsession with fat people? Ben Stiller and Dwayne Johnson made up to be chubby doesn’t equate to laughs. It’s cheap.

Questionable CG chub with En Vogue aside, the film continues to suffer from false facade issues. There are hints of a darker action comedy that threatens to boil up in the few Aaron Paul scenes. But, the film never lets up with wanting everyone to learn a lesson. Dwayne Johnson overcomes childhood issues, while Kevin Hart learns to take charge. Everyone laughs, tack on a few forced cameos and the audience can promise that they’ll go see something better next time. Everyone good?

I really don’t know when these kinds of comedies became en vogue. But, there’s something fundamentally flawed with the desire to be adult and then force morality in the most Sherwood Schwartzian contrived manner. If an audience has bought into a film on the premise that they’re going to get the comedy that expect from Hart and the action from Johnson, then fulfill some of that. I’ve heard a ton of reviewers compare the film to “Nothing to Lose” and I get a sense of the familiarity. But, that film had way more going on for its duration. “Central Intelligence” is the C student trying to convince the smart kids that he’s smarter than them. It’s time for America to bend this movie’s Wookiee.


  • PG-13
  • 1hr and 54 mins
  • Warner Brothers


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