Central Intelligence (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Central Intelligence (2016)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson make for well-matched comic foils, helping Central Intelligence overcome a script that coasts on their considerable chemistry.

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Movie Info

The story follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob, who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of former "big man on campus," Calvin, now an accountant who misses his glory days. But before the staid numbers-cruncher realizes what he's getting into, it's too late to get out, as his increasingly unpredictable new friend drags him through a world of shoot-outs, double-crosses and espionage that could get them both killed in more ways than Calvin can count.

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Cast

Dwayne Johnson
as Bob Stone
Kevin Hart
as Calvin Joyner
Amy Ryan
as Agent Pamela Harris
Tim Griffin
as Agent Stan Mitchell
Timothy John Smith
as Agent Nick Cooper
Sione Kelepi
as Young Robbie
Dylan Boyack
as Trevor - 17 Years Old
Megan Park
as Waitress
Slaine Jenkins
as Thugged Out
Annie Kerins
as Lady MC
Nate Richman
as Big Bro
Kumail Nanjiani
as Jared the Airport Security Guard
Phil Reeves
as Principal Kent
David Stassen
as Randy's Husband
Kyle Washburn
as Flunkie #2
Sarah K. Thurber
as Beautiful Restaurant Woman
Lawrence Koplin
as Dashing Restaurant Man
Rawson Marshall Thurber
as Handsome Pants-Catcher
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Critic Reviews for Central Intelligence

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (36)

The window-smashing and car-crashing offer some giddy surprises, but the ridiculous yet bland gunplay is as generic as the setup.

June 27, 2016 | Full Review…
New Yorker
Top Critic

Doesn't have much going for it beyond its leading men, the leading men just might be worth the price of admission.

June 24, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Tribune News Service
Top Critic

No one can steal the show from Johnson and Hart. Their dual rhythms, alternately laid back and hyperactive, end up in a glorious and ridiculous kind of syncopation, unicornlike in its rarity and oddness.

June 23, 2016 | Full Review…
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

With its canned, predictable action sequences and mirthless attempts at humor, it displays an ineptitude that is frankly shocking considering the talent involved.

June 22, 2016 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…
ReelViews
Top Critic

The film has a firm grasp of Johnson's appeal as a leading man: He is Hollywood's most imposing ray of sunshine.

June 17, 2016 | Full Review…
BuzzFeed News
Top Critic

Central Intelligence won't blow you out of the theater, but you might be surprised at how well it works - how genuinely funny it is - given the familiarity of this concept.

June 17, 2016 | Full Review…
Village Voice
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Central Intelligence

½

A deeply unamusing bore of a movie.

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

½

Well if you were expecting any kind of originality, or any actual proper action or laughs, then you've clearly walked into the wrong movie (dare I say...decade). So, a new buddy action comedy flick? Oh gee! how many of these has there been now? Well as we all know very well its not about the quality of the movie of originality any more, no, its about the most unusual, zany double team they can slap together. So please enter Dwayne Johnson and someone called Kevin Hart (hurrah!). Yep, a massive bloke with an overly pumped up body, and a very short bloke who screams a lot...so a short Chris Tucker then. Oh the hilarity! Plot, well first off they start with a good dose of cliched bullshit. Back in high school Johnson's character (Robbie/Bob his fake name, I'll stick with Robbie) was a big fat nobody that everyone took the piss out of, whilst Hart's character (Calvin) was the cool jock type guy. Fast forward twenty years and Calvin pretty much looks the same and has a steady solid job as an accountant. On the other hand, and I know you're gonna laugh out loud at this because its truly, [b]truly[/b] hilarious and not at all corny and cliched, Robbie has now morphed into this huge, muscle bound superman who turns out to be a secret agent (and a real lady killer). Well golly gee, did I not see that coming, slapped me right across the face that did. Robbie even appeared to grow to over 6 feet too, not sure how old they were in that high school sequence but boys tend to stop growing at 16 years of age. So anyway, there are these satellite codes which the CIA are after. They believe Robbie is a rogue agent trying to sell them to the highest bidder. Robbie says that an agent called the black badger is trying to sell the codes and he has to stop said person. But the CIA also believe Robbie is also the black badger and that he killed his previous partner. All the while Calvin can't decide who is telling the truth, and in all honesty, I wasn't so sure either. As a matter of fact, for a dumb comedy the plot was actually kinda confusing and frustrating frankly, it kept going back and forth and was pretty incoherent. I was pretty sure the black badger would turn out to be the head female CIA agent because usually these big twist characters are often women, but was it her?? OOooo the intrigue. So did this work as a comedy? no, not really. The main issue being it just wasn't very funny. Take Johnson, this guy is likeable, he's amusing, heroic and seemingly a genuinely nice guy, but what else has he got to offer?? I've now seen Johnson in many films and he pretty much does the same shit because that's all he can when he looks the way he does. Yes he can be funny and threatening, but we've seen it, there is nothing new to this routine...which did come across like a rip-off of Arnie's character in 'Twins'. Another problem is the rating here, its a 12A which means no real action, no real fisticuffs, its all watered down fluff. Sure Johnson can handle this level of fluff but when it comes to beating up other big blokes, taking down blokes with guns, shoot outs, plosions, jumping through windows etc...it just didn't feel right. The editing was poor, the cutaways were obvious, I'm not saying this was an R/18 rated film originally, but its just too obvious that the action had been neutered. Basically even for a low rated action flick this felt way too childish or spoofy. I really think this needed to at least be at the level of 'Rush Hour' in terms of humour and action. I will admit Hart was a semi decent comic foil to Johnson but that's only in height difference methinks. Johnson is over 6 feet whilst Hart is damn short, so clearly the visual jokes are gonna be rather predictable and again, dare I say...taken out of the 'Twins' handbook of comedy. I don't know much about Hart or his work but he didn't really wow me in any way, I saw nothing special here a tall frankly. Going back to 1998 again, Chris Tucker was way, way more amusing than this Hart bloke, dunno how he got the gig here. As for the rest, well its all pretty crap truth be told. As said the plot is completely incoherent, messy and dumb, there is no way either of these two would be able to run around as they do when they are wanted so badly. There doesn't appear to be like any police anywhere, ever! There are hardly any consequences or repercussions for anything that happens. Apparently the CIA are able to genuinely torture people in this film! The CIA also threaten Calvin with blackmail over his wife, saying unless he cooperates they'll arrest her, for no apparent reason other than they are corrupt. Yet that plot angle goes nowhere! its brought up for one scene and is then completely forgotten, at no point does the CIA mention the blackmailing again. Then at the end, everything is hunky dory and the duo just forget everything that happened with the CIA! Yeah never mind the blackmail and torture, nothing personal right? I also found the sequence where Robbie and Calvin meet the old high school bully shitty too. Trevor (Jason Bateman) was the main bully who really hurt Robbie with his stunt, yet twenty years later the guy is still asshole? That whole angle just felt really shitty and low, grasping at straws for laughs which it failed in doing. A missed opportunity? meh...not really, just another cash grab type scenario which doesn't really deserve to exist. Yeah you can let your brain go to the park for a couple hours while you watch this, its not supposed to be anything groundbreaking, its nothing more than pure throwaway, popcorn nonsense. kinda self-indulgent, kinda pointless, I can't believe they actually get paid for this...type situation. Its just a shame that it isn't really a good example of its genre, coasting along...somehow.

Phil Hubbs
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

Central Intelligence isn't a horrible movie. It coasts on the charm of its leads. Dwayne Johnson is eager, overzealous and blissfully unaware. He imagines this close personal friendship with Kevin Hart's character that was never really there. He's so naive he seems almost mentally challenged. Kevin Hart plays an exasperated, persnickety fuss-budget. The two are a mismatched pair. If you can appreciate the constant mugging from the two stars then you should cuddle up to the film's modest charms. Me? I was hoping for a bit more story than the threadbare plot that's served up here. For the record, it's some nonsense about selling critical U.S. satellite codes to terrorists. There's also some confusion as to whether Bob Stone is actually a good or a bad guy in the CIA but you'd have to be fast asleep not to figure that out. Yes it's totally predictable, but that's not the issue. I found their hijinks mildly amusing. I simply never laughed out loud at any point. It's so thoroughly generic. Directer and co-writer Rawson Marshall Thurber has done better work. I'd uphold DodgeBall: A True Underdog Story over this. What sets Central Intelligence apart is Wayne Johnson and Kevin Hart. I recommend this to very forgiving fans (and only fans) for whom these celebrities can do no wrong. fastfilmreviews.com

Mark Hobin
Mark Hobin

Super Reviewer

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