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Central Intelligence

Dwayne Johnson’s work as the goofy nerdy CIA assassin is the best part of this buddy comedy

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Probably the best part of Rawson Marshall Thurber’s Mutt and Jeff buddy comedy is the facility Dwayne Johnson has for selling his oddball character: a bulked-up CIA agent who still retains a lot of his adorkably nerdy self from high school (favorite movie: Pretty in Pink). There is some over-plotted nonsense in which the former high school hero, now a dull dude (played by Kevin Hart), gets caught up in some spy shenanigans, but it’s just an excuse to get this mismatched pair cracking jokes together. Hart’s shtick is mostly reactive, and, frankly, it’s the same motor-mouth routine you either enjoy or find tiresome. (Confidential to Kevin: It’s 2016 — those gay-panic jokes aren’t funny and just make you look uptight.) The noisy, feel-good comedy is something of a genial mess that just ever-so-occasionally rises above the genre.


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