Thursday, 11 August 2016

Central Intelligence (2016)

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 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, truly 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 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.