Film: Central Intelligence
Cast: Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
When the Asian distributors of Central Intelligence decided to change the tagline on the poster from 'Saving the world takes a little HART and a big JOHNSON' to 'Saving the world takes a little HART and a big ROCK', they probably figured that it would help get a few more people to theatres over the weekend.
Let's face it. This is India. The Rock is The Rock after all. It's been light years and two-odd Star Wars movies since he shed his WWF days (and that bronco-insignia-d black brief) and went all Hollywood Squares on us. But kids still wonder whether you can smell-l-l-l-l-l-l-aaaah what The Rock is cooking.
And so, coming back to the whole marketing stratagem, here's why I think it's sheer genius: It's probably the ONLY way they can get people to watch this movie. Because if any of them, fans of The Rock or otherwise, were to catch a preview, they'd tap out faster than the Hardy Boyz.
Mostly brazen, sexist, boorish, offensive and packed with stereotypes that would make Tango and Cash cringe, Central Intelligence is a big muscled bore with a few odd laughs thrown in. Incidentally, some of the humour could crack up to if you're in a particularly 'freshman' frame of mind, but there's only so many jokes about fat teens, small wieners and black men you can take in under two hours. But hey, if you can put up with a stale plot that has a high school reunion, stolen missile codes and CIA 'suits' being ridiculous just for those laughs, you're welcome to them any time.
Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson plays Bob Stone, an ex-fat kid who was stripped naked and bullied in high school, but is now a ripped, tattooed CIA agent. The shorter, and infinitely more animated Kevin 'No Known Middle Name' Hart is Calvin Joyner, the only kid who was nice to Bob in High School. Bored with his life as an accountant, Hart is psyching up for their High School reunion when Johnson reappears with a conspiracy theory about stolen missile launch codes. There's also an evil mole in the CIA called the Black Beaver, Go figure.
The plot gets more and more ridiculous till it reaches a point where The Rock needs to take off his clothes and do that whole jumping tricep thing that muscled men do. It's so ridiculous you want to laugh. But only a strangled half-cry mixed with a mandatory yawn may make it out of your epiglottis.
Honestly, The Rock has done way better movies, Kevin Hart is generally funnier (even while making fart noise jokes) and Rawson Marshall Thurber should just go make a sequel to Dodgeball. Seriously. That would be immenely more watchable.
Verdict: If you're going to watch it for The Rock, try old WWF/WWE videos instead. Much better entretainment value