Sometimes it's better not to travel in hope.
I went along to the screening of Central Intelligence expecting little from the latest vehicle for Dwayne Johnson, a man I will always call The Rock, thanks to his pre-Hollywood career as my second-favourite wrestler (Shawn Michaels, if you must know). I was disappointed.This fun buddy movie is something like a semi-slapstick Midnight Run starring Abbot and Costello.
The film opens in the mid-1990s with an overweight kid called Robby being bullied and embarrassed at school, and then zips forward twenty years to the week of a high school reunion. Kevin Hart plays Calvin, the only student who showed any decency towards Robby. He left school with great expectations, but now feels a failure as he's 'only' an accountant. The shame of it all . . .
Out of the blue Calvin's contacted by Robby (Johnson), who has transformed into a mountain of muscle, but is still a big softie inside. They meet up before the reunion and pretty soon it emerges that Robby is nothing less than a rogue CIA agent on the run.
What follows is a series of shoot-outs, fights, sight and sound gags as the bromance between Calvin and Robby grows. The plot's pretty tame, but that's beside the point. In fact, it isn't the point at all.
This film's all about the journey, which involves a lot of laughs, and even has its tender moments as it gently tugs at the clichés around male bonding, and gets some great digs in at male stereotyping, particularly through Johnson's sensitive muscleman and trained killer. He's a Molly Ringwald fan!
Daft doesn't go near describing this film. For example, there's a fight between two men, one armed with a knife and the other with a banana. The man with the banana wins.
This could well be the surprise hit comedy of the year, and its two stars are just fantastic together. In these gloomy times, this film's a tonic. Oh, and there's fun turn from Aaron Paul too.