Kevin Hart plays a socially awkward, but otherwise mild-mannered married man in a fish-out-of-water, life-or-death situation with a guy who is taller and more intimidating than him.
Oh shit, sorry, that’s the plot to RIDE ALONG. My bad. Time to talk about this movie. *ehem*
Hart plays a socially awkward, but otherwise mild-mannered married man in a fish-out-of water, life-or-death- hey now WAIT A MINUTE!!!
Can you pinpoint the exact moment in which this movie screamed at me to skip it? I mean, about the only real difference between this and RIDE ALONG was that instead of Hart playing a comic relief that has a comic foil, he now has a character who is just as annoying as him. I mean, I don’t have a problem with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as an actor. He’s certainly come a long way since his cameo in THE MUMMY RETURNS and the spin-off THE SCORPION KING. But I swear to God, the only reason this movie was made was because someone somewhere made this movie’s clever tagline, “Saving the world takes a little Hart and a big Johnson,” and made a movie about it. I promise you, before the movie was green-lit, the original story had Johnson as an intimidating asshole. But then someone said, “Uh-hum, no, this is basically RIDE ALONG. Make The Rock’s character a doofus too. That’ll throw off the audience.” Uh, excuse me, Hollywood, but… I’m not thrown off. In fact, I was dreading this movie even more than I was for RIDE ALONG 2. But hey, I didn’t pay for this shit, so I didn’t care too much. Now it’s time to talk about it. Is this movie just a RIDE ALONG knock off, or does it give laughs as big as Johnson’s muscles? This is my honest opinion of CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE.
Back in high school, Calvin (Kevin Hart) was the most popular kid in school. Didn’t hurt that he was also a really good guy, and was voted most likely to succeed. This is the direct opposite of Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson), who was an overweight and often teased kid. The worst day of his life was when the school bully drags him out of the shower room of the school and forces him into the school assembly buck naked, prompting the entire school to laugh at him, except for Calvin, who gave Robbie his school jacket to cover himself. Twenty years later, Calvin is married to his high school sweetheart, Maggie (Danielle Nicolet), and is a really good accountant. The problem is, he’s not happy with his life, outside of being married to Maggie, but doesn’t make that clear. To make matters more frustrating, he was passed up for a promotion at his job, Maggie wants to see a marriage counselor, and his high school reunion is coming up and he doesn’t want to go. But before heading home after work, he gets a Facebook friend request from an unknown person named Bob Stone, and offers him to hang out and have drinks. Calvin takes him up on the offer and meets up with a tall, muscular gentleman that is revealed to be Robbie. They have drinks and share each other’s lives, but when a couple of curmudgeon bar patrons try to ruin Calvin and Bob’s night, Bob is revealed to be a highly skilled fighter. Worse, he’s also wanted by the CIA for being a traitor to the country and Bob ropes Calvin into helping him clear his name. But as time goes on, Calvin isn’t sure if Bob really is as innocent as he claims.
Dear god, did I call it. This was pretty much RIDE ALONG, except significantly more annoying.
I want to like Hart, I really do. I saw GET HARD and I thought he was hilarious. But can’t he fucking stray from playing the same old whiny, screaming characters that he always plays? It’s so beyond annoying. If I wasn’t in such a crowded auditorium, I would have whipped out my phone and watched something really funny. Like, oh say, his stand-ups. Never seen them, but I hear he’s hilarious in those. Why is he typecast like this? Maybe more importantly, why does he constantly accept roles like this? How about a drama every so often? Or how about he plays the character with a chip on his shoulder. Anything would be better than sitting through another next-gen Chris Tucker performance… and I like Chris Tucker!
Johnson… I usually like this guy. His days of proving how good and funny an actor he can be are well behind him. If you need him to kick ass, he’ll kick that ass into next week. If he needs to be serious, I’ll take him seriously. If he needs to crack a joke, I’ll laugh and slap my knee. But Jesus fuck, what did they do to his talent?! He’s so… flamboyant, it just doesn’t work. He’s all peppy and hyper excited about everything it’s like watching him act like a five year old on a sugar rush. It’s not funny, it’s obnoxious.
So much of this movie doesn’t make sense. I went to Calabasas High. I don’t have a lot of nice things to say about many of students I shared classes with. But not once would I believe for a second that an overweight kid, hauled into a school assembly with no clothes, would be laughed at by literally everyone, even the teachers. No, in any real school, the teachers would be the first to help that kid. Sure, you’d hear a few chuckles here and there, but the assembly would be quiet and in shock from how horrible this situation was. And bullies like that DO NOT grow up to be successful. Real story here, kids, I had a buddy who was strangled by this lummox of a kid, big muscles, rotten attitude, that kind of guy. Very same guy slapped me for saying something under my breath about him. Wanna know what happened to him? Arrested. Pretty sure he was eighteen years old. I doubt he ever bounced back from that. Maybe it’s possible that rotten people like that do grow up to be like this movie’s character, Trevor (Jason Bateman), but… doubtful. Sociopaths just hurt more people and get themselves into more trouble that their version of a high end job is their feet glued in front of a Taco Bell cash register, not becoming accountants.
… I think this movie became personal. Damn…
Anyway, back on track with this movie not making sense, why did Bob seek Calvin for help? He just needed any accountant to check his computer. It’s revealed later on that Bob never stopped talking about how cool Calvin was to him that day at the assembly, so isn’t going to Calvin actually pretty fucking stupid? Wouldn’t it be smarter to find… any accountant to do this shit? Bob was in the CIA. You don’t get into the CIA for being a dumb-ass (I assume).
Why does Calvin call Bob “his boy.” Why does Calvin let him crash on his sofa? Why does he let Bob kidnap him? No, for those of you that saw it and want to argue with me, no, he straight up let Bob kidnap him into doing this insane shit. At any point, he could have run away, surrender to the CIA, gone home, and got the hell out of dodge with Maggie. He never does the smart thing and it’s frustrating to watch.
Honestly, there’s so many of these dumb-fuck moments, I don’t even want to continue writing this review because of it. You know what? I won’t. I’m going to bed for now. Yeah, it’s 10:00 PM on a Thursday night, but I have work early in the morning and I intend to get a breather from the mere thought of this movie.
*Wakes up at 5:30 AM*
Yeah, actually did it. This is how I’m waking up: by finishing this review.
I remember another reviewer saying that the ending of the movie has it’s message about bullying and how it’s very important because, you know, bullying is something of a big deal. While I respect this reviewers opinion, and it’s not wrong, the movie doesn’t quite warrant it. Yes, Bob was bullied in school, and he joins the CIA much like Captain America joins the army: because they don’t like bullies. However, this message of standing up to bullies IS NOT supported by the rest of the film. Bob’s enemies in the movie aren’t bullies. He’s fighting against the CIA who thinks he’s a traitor and a terrorist group that hasn’t been revealed to do anything against anyone other than auctioning off satellite codes. These aren’t the actions of bullies, just scumbags. Even the reveal of his partner Phil (Aaron Paul) not being dead, he isn’t really a bully either. He’s just a dude who’s crazy annoyed with Bob.
Oh, and Paul kicking Johnson’s ass? No… just no.
I can’t stand this movie. Hart and Johnson have done such better films in the past, even some of their bad films were better than this garbage. I was going to give this movie a 2/5, simply because I thought the movie was not funny at all. But the more I thought about its bullshit, tacked on message at the end and how none of the film supports it, I have to rank it lower than that. I DO NOT recommend this movie. Maybe if you’re a huge fan of the two actors you might enjoy this movie more than I did, but… I just can’t.
My honest rating: 1/5