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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Central Intelligence (6/17/2016)


Rated PG-13 for crude and suggestive humor, some nudity, action violence and brief strong language.

Starring Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart

Directed by Rawson Marshall Thurber


Todd's Rating: Rental

Dynamic ImageCentral Intelligence may not be the smartest “spy movie” but it is one of the funniest.

The story follows a one-time bullied geek who grew up to be a lethal CIA agent (Johnson), coming home for his high school reunion. Claiming to be on a top-secret case, he enlists the help of the former “big man on campus” (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 he can count.

If you’re a fan of Johnson and Hart then you will most likely be surprised by the role reversal that Rawson Marshall Thurber directs. Kevin Hart plays the straight man who has his act together and Johnson is the goofball (most of the time). We’re used to seeing Hart play the pint-sized, fast-talking smart-aleck at the center of the action. He almost always remains the center of comic attention. But in Central Intelligence, he’s initially subdued and reactive as Calvin Joyner, an accountant of all things. Dwayne Johnson plays the former bullied overweight kid who is now larger than life. But he’s also a fanny-pack-wearing, story-telling, just-looking-for-a-friend kinda guy.

And it all works.

The action and fight scenes are borderline ridiculous. There were a few laughs but also a few eye rolls. The film takes very little about itself seriously, and if you want to enjoy it, don’t take it too seriously either.

Director Rawson Marshall Thurber understands pace and physical comedy…especially the humor in the physical difference between Hart and Johnson. What could use some work is his storytelling. The plot is fairly bland and highly predictable. But most people won’t mind because Hart and Johnson are both fun to watch. I’m sure we’ll see the two of them together soon…can you say “Twins” remake?

I really did appreciate the bullying storyline. It’s good to see stars like Johnson and Hart push a story like this one.

It’s not my favorite film of 2016, but its worth a “Rental” for sure.


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
Dwayne Johnson is shown shirtless twice during the duration of the film. On the first instance, his buttocks are also shown.

There are several scenes with hand-to-hand combat, explosions and shootouts, but are meant to be funny and not gory.

There is one F-word and are several S-words.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. How did you feel seeing Bobby being bullied at the beginning of the film?

  2. Have you ever seen bullying in your school?

  3. How did you respond?

  4. Read Psalm 82:4

      Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people.

  5. How can you rescue the helpless in your school?





Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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