On paper, this is gold. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson can’t do any wrong and Kevin Hart fatigue hasn’t yet set in. Can the two of them come together for a successful action-packed comedy?
Back in high school, Calvin Joyner (Kevin Hart) and Robbie Weirdicht (Dwayne Johnson) weren’t exactly friends but Joyner was the only one who was kind of nice to Weirdicht, on a few key occasions. Flash forward to now and the formerly taunted and bullied Weirdicht has transformed into the behemoth now calling himself Bob Stone. And it turns out he now works for the CIA and has got himself caught in the middle of a massive threat to national security. He needs his old friend Joyner’s help, so the two reconnect and now go on an adventure to save the day.
We have Amy Ryan as a lead CIA agent, Danielle Nicolet as Hart’s wife, and a few cameos I won’t spoil.
Here’s the thing about Kevin Hart. He’s always exactly the same. So if you’re not tired of that (and I’m not), you’ll find a lot to laugh at here. His chemistry with Johnson is great, who also gets plenty of laugh out loud moments.
I was also surprised with the amount of time dedicated to setting up Hart’s character, which gave him more depth and heart (pun intended) than I expected. His story was relatable and gave the following shenanigans context.
What doesn’t work?
Dwayne Johnson has done funny movies before but this one felt like they almost didn’t quite know how to make him funny, so they made some strange choices (which sometimes paid off). Let’s make him love unicorns. Let’s make him have a fascination with the movie Sixteen Candles. He always wears a fanny back, even to bed. The Rock is naturally funny and charismatic, I felt like moments were a little too over the top to be funny but instead almost intrusive to the movie. Forced.
And like I said above as a positive, Kevin Hart is exactly what you’d expect him to be. So if you are tired of that shtick, there’s nothing new or refreshing here.
The story also doesn’t make sense, sacrificed in order to service the jokes. Walking out of the theatre, I had more questions than I had answers.
This movie is fine. I wouldn’t say it’s bad. It’s Kevin Hart doing some funny Kevin Hart stuff and The Rock playing a really weird guy who can occasionally kick ass. These two characters go on a journey that doesn’t quite make sense and the jokes are hit or miss. I don’t think you’ll regret seeing the movie but it won’t be one that you’ll probably ever rewatch.