Release Date: September 27, 2016
Running Time: 112 minutes
The story follows a one-time bullied geek, Bob (Johnson), who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent, coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, Bob enlists the help of former “big man on campus,” Calvin (Hart), 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.
Central Intelligence is everything I hoped it would be and more. When you put The Rock and Kevin Hart together for a comedy, you know you’re in for a really fun ride. These two did not disappoint. While The Rock’s character may have been a little over the top, I was able to suspend my disbelief long enough to just sit back, relax, and laugh. And while it’s pretty much agreed upon that the Kevin Hart brand is overexposed, there’s no denying his talent and he delivers in this role. The entire cast was great. Ryan Hansen, Amy Ryan, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul, and Megan Park are just a few familiar faces that I was happy to see in the film.
If you want an unconventional buddy action comedy that will truly make you laugh, this is it. Central Intelligence is silly and isn’t ashamed about it. This, I love.
Story wise, this was quite tropey but it did offer some fresh elements which I greatly appreciated and really enjoyed. The Rock’s character might seem like one big poster child for a more message heavy story but I never felt like the messages that they were trying to convey through his character overshadowed the story as a whole. Which is great because while the heart of the movie relies on the friendship between these two guys who are there for each other through thick and thin simply because of the fact that they’re just good guys, there’s a point where it could have been too preachy and sappy. It was bordering crossing that line but because of the two leads that I enjoy watching, I let this slide. Central Intelligence knew what it wanted to be and it went for it and I can’t knock that because it ended up turning out quite well.
Ike Barinholtz (The Mindy Project, MADtv) co-wrote the screenplay and if you’re familiar with his kind of comedy, you can appreciate this fact and this movie in an even more meaningful way. So if you haven’t seen Central Intelligence yet, I recommend you check this one out when you’re ready for a good laugh.
* Alternate Scenes (Approx. 1 hour 10: minutes) – There are 18 alternate scenes on the blu-ray with, unfortunately, no option to play the scenes individually. So basically, you’ll be watching an alternate version of the movie, given how long this is. There’s “Restaurant” which I enjoyed in its extended form, “Bar” which I did not, “Smoking Pot in the Gym,” which was solid but in the grand scheme of things, quite boring, “Maggie Leaves in the Morning” which was unnecessary, “Calvin’s House” which was absolutely hysterical, “In Car/Building” which I did not prefer over the final cut of this scene, the unforgettable “In Van” scene, “Dr. Dan’s Office” which was just as entertaining as the final version, “Harris Sees Maggie Leave Dr. Dan’s” which was unnecessary, “Trevor’s Office” and “Safe Site” which were equally as captivating as the final versions, “Airport” which I could have done without, and the final scenes of the movie, “Airport/Boston,” “Garage,” “Boston,” and two “Reunion” scenes, as well as “Under the Bleachers all of which were fine but nothing particularly special. Basically, if you don’t want to take an hour to watch a slightly different version of the film, essentially, skip this. The final cut of the movie is much more entertaining and satisfying.
* Line-O-Rama (Approx. 2:30 minutes) – This feature gives us a taste of the improv that Kevin Hart, The Rock, and Ryan Hansen did on the set. None of it was laugh out loud funny but it is always refreshing to see a cast and crew open to improv.
* Dance-Off (Approx. 2:23 minutes) – Sione Kelepi is the body double for The Rock as Young Robbie and in this feature we get to see how his body and The Rock’s face came together for the shower scene as well as see Sione and The Rock having a dance off on the set of the high school reunion. Sione’s moves are definitely better than The Rock’s here so it’s no question why they used a double instead of adding on prosthetics and the like.
* Couch Time Lapse (Approx. 40 seconds) – This is a brief fun fact behind the scenes clip
* Gag Reel (Approx. 6:15 minutes) – If you laughed watching the movie, you’ll laugh for the gag reel. It’s just as hysterical and well worth the watch.
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