Star – Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson
Genre – Comedy
Run Time – 107minutes
Certificate – PG13
Country – USA
Awards – 5 Nominations & 1 Win
Amazon – £6.99 DVD £9.99Blue Ray
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Believe it or not but Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson is the highest earning male movie star in the world, Johnson’s earn was $65 million last year, which includes all his earnings outside movies. Last year he was on ‘just’ $31 million. He is that loveable big lug go to go for voice overs in animation movies and loves to have a crack at different genres, to be fair surprisingly pretty good on the dead pan comic timing the way Mark Wahlberg proved with films like The Other Guy and Ted. But whereas those films are well written and non conventional, Central Intelligence is as generic as you can get for a buddy cop comedy and his real appeal. Sadly there are no women in the top ten list of high earning actors even though Scarlett Johansson is the highest grossing actress of last year with her Marvel Universe stuff.
===Most paid actors last year===
1. Dwayne Johnson = $64, 500,000
2. Jackie Chan = $61,000,000
3. Matt Damon = $55,000,000
4. Tom Cruise = $53,000,000
5. Johnny Depp = $48,000,000
6. Ben Affleck = $43,000,000
7. Vin Diesel = $35,000,000
8. Shah Rukh Khan = $33,000,000
9. Robert Downey Jr = $33,000,000
10. Akshay Kumar = $31,500,000
A foot taller and 100 pounds heavier we pair The Rock with titchy Kevin Hart, the pint sized actor that is the new Chris Tucker, which is not a good thing, both incredibly annoying motor mouth jive talking types. Johnson, on the other and, is surprisingly likeable on screen, even though he is as stiff as Roger Moore’s back after a long winter walk. But Wahlberg and Will Ferrell worked together as a comedy double act then why not these two? I will leave that up to you to decide if they work together. I’m not a Kevin Hart fan.
• Kevin Hart as Calvin "Golden Jet" Joyner
• Dwayne Johnson as Robbie Wheirdicht / Bob Stone
• Sione Kelepi as young Robbie (body double)
• Amy Ryan as Agent Pamela "Pam" Harris
• Aaron Paul as Phil Stanton
• Danielle Nicolet as Maggie Johnson-Joyner
• Jason Bateman as Trevor Olson
• Dilan Boyack as young Trevor Olson
• Melissa McCarthy (uncredited) as Darla McGuckian
• Timothy John Smith as Agent Nick Cooper
• Megan Park as Lexi
• Ryan Hansen as Steve
• Phil Reeves as Principal Kent
Calvin "Golden Jet" Joyner (Kalvin Hart) was the king of high school and a star athlete and the captain of the football team back in the day. Everybody loved him. At the same school the overweight and rather shy Robbie Wheirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) was the school whipping boy, regularly bullied, infamously humiliated at the school basketball championship game with only Joyner taking sympathy for him and saving his dignity.
Now they are all grown up and it’s the 20-year class of 96 high school reunion and Robbie has got in touch with Joyner to see if he is going. Joyner was judged by his schoolmates as the most likely to succeed in life but now a mid level insurance clerk and mortgaged to the hilt although he did marry the high school prom queen Maggie Delaney (Danielle Nicolet). Kalvin doesn’t want to go to the reunion so agrees to have a beer with him after work as Robbie is in town.
Expecting a 250 pound behemoth he is shocked to see that Robbie is a 200 pound hunk and the women all over him in the bar. He still appears to be the shy and gauche Robbie but can look after himself now and beats up some guys in the bar, Jason Bourne style, when they call him out. Joyner is dumb founded and the two, after a few beers, wander up to the school the night before the reunion to check out the deserted corridors in search of memories, bunking down on Joyner’s sofa for the night.
The next morning the FBi are banging on his door, looking for Bob Stone, Robbie’s pseudonym, Joyner showing him where he is only to find he has gone. Robbie is not what he seems and now Americas Most Wanted, apparently a CIA agent gone rogue after stealing some confidential information. Agent Pamela "Pam" Harris (Amy Ryan) wants Joyner to help bring him in whilst Robbie want to prove to Joyner he is not t bad guy and also needs his help. Let the buddy cop movie begin.
For its $60 million budget this did $217m back to date. Why? Because the Rock is popular, simple as, and has that cross race appeal. It’s not because it’s a funny movie. The rednecks grew up with him in WWF and the black kids love him for being a champion beating up the white wrestlers in that choreographed camp nonsense. It’s nearly funny and the Rock likeable on screen with that deadpan idiot delivery but Hart is just too loud and full on and the joke of big guy with little guy quickly wears thin. I think it’s fair to say this is as generic buddy movie romp as you can get. But it’s this kind of loveable dumb lug comedy that has pushed his wage up and so he is going to keep doing it.
I laughed a couple of times and had high hopes this would kick in but it quickly dropped into familiar territory in that cheesy black actor comedy genre. It needed better writers and more irony to it and the money clearly spent on the stars. It has more signposted twists than a particularly hilly road in Wales and the pitch that it’s a film about anti bullying is tenuous to say the last. Apparently it got some state funding for pushing that message. Dwayne Johnson is as big and successful as he is because of steroids, not because he was bullied in his teens. SO the message is to pump yourself full of health harming roids and go to the gym kids.
It’s a good family movie for the kids though but mum and dad won’t be laughing much. There is some comedy violence and gunfire but nothing too bad. There is no love interest for the The Rock so strictly knock about stuff. You will be reaching for the kettle after half-hour of Hart though and you do wonder why Hollywood executives think a black audience want to pay $15 dollars at the multiplexes to be patronized by black stereotype comedians like Hart. He was OK in that Will Ferrell movie but no Eddie Murphy or Chris Rock. This is no Arnie and De Vito folks. Rent or buy Undercover Brother or Beverley Hills Cop instead guys.
Imdb.com – 6.4/10.0 (79,324votes)
Rottentomatos.com – 69% critic’s approval
Metacritic.com – 52% critic’s approval
-Behind the Scenes-
More comedy japes from cast & crew.
Lots of improve so lots of nauseating outtakes.
More of that improve stuff
The Times –‘This is a tongue-in-cheek buddy movie that's above average, but not too far above average’
Independent –‘Inevitably, the creepiness fades, the charm increases, and the film becomes progressively more bland and predictable as a result’.
Daily Telegraph –‘If the race were on to find 2016's best stupid buddy-caper comedy, Central Intelligence just took an early lead’.
New Yorker –‘The window-smashing and car-crashing offer some giddy surprises, but the ridiculous yet bland gunplay is as generic as the setup’.
Daily Star –‘If you are suffering from The Brexit Blues, then watching a tiny comic repeatedly clocking a hulking muscle man around the chops could be just what the doctor ordered’
Movie Talk –‘Who knew Dwayne Johnson was quite this funny? He's so hands-down hilarious in Central Intelligence he makes motor-mouth comedian Kevin Hart, his co-star, look like the film's straight man.
In Spring last year I wanted to see a film called Half Nelson which had been out on a somewhat limited release at cinemas, and had been and gone at all my nearest screen's. Browsing the web, the only place in south London that was still showing it was the Picturehouse in Greenwich. Like countless other people, the nearest cinemas to me are all multiplex venues from the big chains like Vue or Odeon, with which I can say I've had no problems, albeit they only show the most recent releases and soon pull films once they don't bring enough money in.
~ location ~
In the London Borough of Greenwich as you might have guessed, and just a stone's throw away from the River Thames and the Cutty Sark, the Picturehouse is located on the A206, also known as Greenwich High Road, and within walking distance of Greenwich underground station. I can't provide any more details regarding the local public transport, but the cinema's website appears to contain good details. If you arrive with time to spare for a performance, there is a bar and restaurant area upstairs, although we didn't go there ourselves so I can't comment on the facilites.
As you approach, the most striking element of the building is the glass frontage at first floor level which covers virtually the entire width of the cinema. This is where the bar and restaurant are located, which I would imagine must get bathed in sunlight on a good day.
We entered and had to queue to collect our tickets. This was on a Saturday for an early evening showing, and I would strongly recommend pre-booking for any film you wish to see here, as when we went the screening was sold out and other people who hadn't prebooked were being turned away. There are only four screens here, together a larger screening room in the basement. Once we had collected our tickets we found our way to the basement screening room where Half Nelson was being shown, and entered. This was like no other cinema I can remember ever being in, it was more like a very cosy living room. As you enter, you pass a bar area to walk towards the seating. The screening area itself is really cosy and from recollection only has about 8 or 9 rows. The seating itself consisted of leather armchairs and double seater sofas. My friend and I chose to sit in two large armchairs at the start of one of the rows. Both our seats had cup holders, which wasn't necessary in our case as we hadn't bought any drinks beforehand. We then discovered that the seating reclined, with leg-rests you could extend, something new to me in a cinema! By the time everyone was seated and the film was due to start, I was incredibly comfortable in a virtually horizontal position. This wasn't a problem as there was so much leg room between the seating in each row that if anyone else in our row had needed to walk passed us, they probably could have done, without me even having to move. The usher then swished a velvety curtain across to divide the screening area from the bar area, presumably to cut out the light, the lights all dimmed and the movie started.
The Picturehouse originally only had three screens, but when it changed hands about 3 years prior to my visit, the new owners renovated it and turned it into four mains screens on the ground and first floor with a large screening room and bar in the basement. Neither my friend nor I need to make use of their restrooms, so can't pass comment on these, however the renovations were reflected in all the other public areas we saw which not only looked very clean but new. The only niggle I had was in the bad choice of carpets.
Ticket prices can vary for screenings, with concessions for children and senior citizens, and also with regular customers who have annual membership.
All in all, if you happen to be in the area, I think this is a wonderful little cinema well worth seeking out. It's right in the heart of Greenwich and therefore I would imagine it serves a useful purpose with the local community who either don't have the means to get to nearby multiplex cinemas, or who would rather watch a film in an altogether more convivial atmosphere.