Central Intelligence review: An odd couple comedy high on laughs and with genuine heart

Central Intelligence Review

Central Intelligence is available now on digital download and on Blu-ray and DVD from 31 October.

The odd couple comedy is a familiar formula that has led to differing results over the years, with the likes of Rush Hour and 48 Hours succeeding where so many others have failed.

The latest to try their hand at the genre are Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson, with Central Intelligence telling the story of former classmates Robbie (the overweight target for school bullies) and Calvin (the prom king voted most likely to succeed).

The film begins with Robbie (Johnson) humiliated in front of his entire year and Calvin (Hart) offering the small crumb of comfort that will never be forgotten.

Fast-forward 20 years and Robbie is now Bob Stone – a CIA agent on the hunt for a criminal known only as the Black Badger – while Calvin is married to his high school sweetheart but frustrated after being overlooked for promotion at his accountancy firm. When Bob unexpectedly returns to town, the latter has the chance to finally live the life he was tipped to back in high school while the former has the help he allegedly needs to catch the mastermind.

That is the set-up for a buddy comedy that is surprisingly high on laughs. In fact, there are more gags that hit the spot in Central Intelligence than practically any other comedy released this year, and while there are plot holes aplenty, they are easily forgiven when the central pairing works so well.

Three wonderful cameos – from Aaron Paul, Jason Bateman and an uncredited surprise – all add to the fun, so for those fans wanting a comedy that is consistently funny with plenty of action to boot, this is well worth a watch.

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