The movie opens at a high school in 1996, where Calvin "the Golden Jet" Joyner is speaking at a student assembly. He seems to have it all: popularity, grades, ambition, hot girlfriend Maggie. When some bullies humiliate "Fat Robbie," Calvin is the only one who helps him.
Calvin runs into Robbie, who's now Bob Stone (Johnson), a fairly nerdy guy who's incredibly enthusiastic, an instant friend to Calvin, and a buff guy who beats up bullies with ease. When Bob asks Calvin for a little help with his online payroll account, things get complicated.
Bob says he's actually a C.I.A. agent, out to retrieve some stolen satellite codes and find a rogue agent called the Black Badger -- who killed Bob's partner Phil (Aaron Paul). But C.I.A. Agent Pamela Harris (Amy Ryan) is convinced that Bob is the Black Badger and a dangerous psychopath -- and she wants Calvin to help bring him in. What follows is a lot of shooting with very few deaths, a predictable storyline, and no real surprises.
Despite that, Central Intelligence has plenty of enjoyable moments. Dwayne Johnson plays up the giant lovable goofball from start to finish, and he does it very well. Kevin Hart manages his yelling and frantic delivery pretty well, as the nervous everyman suddenly thrust into the middle of gunfire and international espionage. Central Intelligence is pretty much pure fluff, but it still manages to be funny.
Overall grade: C+
Reviewed by James Lynch