Central Intelligence

Central Intelligence ★★

The action-comedy was never a particularly esteemed genre, and it seems to me that it's generally made a habit of coming up short on action. They certainly have action - sometimes a lot of it - but it tends to be slapsticky and harmless, lacking the nerve-fraying quality of something that could really hurt somebody. The exceptions to this - Lethal Weapon, 48 Hrs., nothing else that's really coming to mind right now - are rare indeed.

This is not an exception, and maybe it's unfair for me to so want it to be. It's got a dependable-enough cast, gags that are generally fine, and one standout performance in Dwayne Johnson, who plays somebody just far enough removed from even this movie's reality that he seems fundamentally incapable of understanding when somebody is saying no to him. (this would be unbearable in a romcom.)

But maybe it's that it treads upon perhaps too-fresh turf that Spy did so much better a year before, and maybe it's that nobody can quite keep up with Johnson, and maybe it's that action thing, plenty of shootouts, people getting bonked with fridge doors, scarcely anyone getting hurt.

I kept seeing a better movie trying to come out, but then the ending hit me with a one-two of schmaltz and a dance party. Oof.