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Movie Review: Central Intelligence – Buddy spy caper

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Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jason Bateman, Aaron Paul, Danielle Nicolet, Amy Ryan, Thomas Kretschman, Ryan Hansen, Tim Griffin, Timothy John Smith


Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber

In one of those curious coincidences, real life college reunion (Social Service League, St Xavier’s College) resonates with a reel life high school reunion where the class bully (Bateman) gets his comeuppance at the hands of erstwhile victim Bob Stone (Johnson) who has since turned obesity to muscular advantage at the CIA no less.

But the spook stint in this buddy comic actioner is far from hunky dory as said agent (Johnson aka The Rock) discovers to his chagrin when his ex partner (Aaron Paul) returns from the dead. This resurrection has nothing to do with the supernatural but everything to do with treason and betrayal as the viewer soon sees.

Calvin (Kevin Hart) Joyner, Bob’s best buddy from high school though is unable to see as clearly as the audience does and that’s not for the lack of trying. Far from it. Hart used to be Class Topper, Prom King, Best Athlete…Heaven knows how many other accomplishments but you’d never guess his glorious past from his current employment at a fuddy duddy firm where Bob shows up post a Friend Request on a social media network.

Reminiscing on old times over a drink at a bar extends to a sleep-over when a bunch of CIA agents storm into the household and Calvin realises his best buddy or/and the secret service has been economical with the truth. Which involves classified information that could get them both killed. True or false? Who knows! As a Zen monk might well ask. Who cares? I do.

The good thing about Central Intelligence is that it turns the tables on so-called achievers (ever wondered what happens to all those 99.9 percenters?) and keeps you wondering if Johnson’s character is a hero or a zero. The great thing about director Thurber’s flick is that it reminds viewers life is not a bed of roses minus thorns, but that we should always be supportive (as friends! married couples!).