Central Intelligence 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
The formula for CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE makes perfect sense; take the biggest action star in the world and team him with the hottest comedian working today and give them a basic buddy-cop action-comedy. The formula doesn’t require much, only that the filmmakers allow their action star to flex some charm and muscle and their comedian to make some jokes. But CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE feels like the filmmakers were constantly trying to do everything they could to avoid making an enjoyable movie. Nothing about this works and it’s a giant blemish on the otherwise nice resumes of Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart.
Bob (Johnson) is now a CIA agent trying to clear his name and save the world, but it wasn’t always that way. In high school, Bob was overweight and constantly picked on, culminating in a humiliating prank that left him disgraced. The reverse can be said for Calvin (Hart). In high school, Calvin was king of the school and was on his way to bigger and better things. But life got in the way and Calvin ended up miserable, working as an accountant. Bob and Calvin meet up on the eve of their 20 year high school reunion and Calvin gets embroiled in Bob’s mission.
Again, there’s nothing overly complicated here. The plot in these types of action comedies is always secondary because the goal is to turn on the camera and get out of the actors’ way. But let’s start with Dwayne Johnson, who is one of the most charming actors working today. In CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE, he’s asked to play a nerd that looks up to Kevin Hart, and he does that the entire movie. He’s never given a chance to flex some muscle and deliver some funny lines and instead, he has to play that character during every action scene. It’s off-putting and frustrating. Then there’s Kevin Hart, who is a naturally funny guy, but he’s relegated to constantly yelling at every event and acting shocked. He doesn’t deliver one funny line the entire film and although I haven’t enjoyed all of his movies, I can honestly say this is the first time he hasn’t made me laugh once.
Most of the “comedy” in CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE is based on the idea that Bob was once a nerd but now looks like The Rock and Calvin was once cool and is now an accountant. The idea runs thin during the opening sequence, but the three screenwriters that worked on the film clearly had no other source of comedy. They also greatly overestimated the staying power of the situation. CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE did have a couple of surprising cameos, but even they weren’t used to their fullest potential.
There’s not much to like in CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE. I know Johnson and Hart have their fans, but even their hardcore fans are going to be disappointed with this one. It’s a weak effort all around and offers nothing in terms of humor and very little in terms of enjoyment. Johnson and Hart are too talented for this and they deserve better.
4K ULTRA HD BLU-RAY REVIEW
Video: This is another title where I was really expecting a nice upgrade over the Blu-ray and came out a little disappointed. This has all of the normal improvements you’d expect in terms of detail and colors, but it’s not to the point where it blows you away. Comparing the 4K and Blu-ray side by side shows minimal improvements, which is disappointing. As with most 4K titles, the biggest differences are noticeable during the night scenes, where shadows and black levels look wonderful. Overall, you’ll notice the differences, but this isn’t a drastic upgrade.
Audio: No Dolby Atmos track is included, so you get the same DTS track found on the Blu-ray.
There are no 4K exclusive special features, but it does include a Blu-ray of the film.