It Won’t Rain All the Time: Central Intelligence (2016)

Central Intelligence was a fun buddy cop movie. Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson have a good chemistry, which is great for this kind of film. Just the juxtaposition of the two, before a word is said, is funny. Hart plays the typical “Kevin Hart” character, which is funny but getting stale. That’s okay though, for me Central Intelligence is all about The Rock.

I like Johnson all around. He owns the bad-ass characters. He is capable in a serious drama. And to round it all out he’s really funny. Wow, am I selling some signature Rock merch here? I need to get my lips off his butt.

Anyway, in Central Intelligence Johnson is both the bad-ass and the comedian. Not so much of the drama, though there are some scenes where things get real and he is a bit to weird to be either the bad-ass or a joker. Mostly he’s the bad-ass. Mostly.

What resonated most with me was the trauma of high school. Robby’s (Johnson) whole life is defined by one horrifying moment in high school, i.e. the shower/basketball court scene in the trailer. Granted, and thankfully, most of us will never have that kind of event in our life, but all of us know what it means to be an outcast in high school. There are countless hours of therapy working through mountains of emotional garbage all because of bullshit high school tomfoolery.

Sadly there are many more people like Robby who never speak up. Behind the tough, or joking, exterior is the naked and destroyed person who only wanted to fit in. After hell school the horrors are all bundled up and packed away deep, deep down where it can fester away as a mental illness.

Without carrying the maudlin too far, sometimes, somehow, a person can manage to keep it together enough to make it though. Usually with the help of family and friends or through sheer strength of willpower. And while it is completely cliche, if a person can just hold on it really does get better.

Ultimately that’s what Central Intelligence is all about. It’s trite, and the resolution is a bit too easy, but for a buddy cop movie it hit all the right moments at all the right beats.

It was fun watching Johnson, who is so successful, take on all the demons we regular mortals fight everyday. Johnson is the living embodiment of this film’s positive message. While he might be on top of the world today, there was a time when he was down just like the rest of us. He wanted to quit. He all but gave up. Somehow he didn’t. Look at where he is today. Sure, we’re not likely to get to that level, but there is better things out there for us all. Knowing that gives hope to us hopeless dorks, and really made Central Intelligence a fun movie overall.

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