Movie Date: Central Intelligence (PG13)
Smart to the guys but dumb to the girls. This is one polarising flick just for the fellas.
STARRING: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan,
DIRECTOR: Rawson Marshall
THE SKINNY: Calvin (Hart) is a mid-level accountant whose life is cushy, yet he constantly whines about how miserable he is. Enter Bob Stone (Johnson), Calvin’s high school friend, who has had a major makeover and needs his help. It is soon revealed that Bob is an undercover CIA agent who may or may not have gone rogue.
MARS by SOLOMON LIM
Central Intelligence is oddly smart.
On the surface, it's a variation on the buddy-cop movie, with Hart playing the clueless civilian-turned-partner.
Then Johnson shows up and steals the show. He plays a former fat kid who never grew out of his love of unicorns and '80s teen movies, and carries the scars of a high school bullying incident that made him who he is.
The plot is secondary to the chemistry between the leads, and Johnson and Hart have that in spades (check out the end-credit scenes).
I'm not a fan of Hart's high-strung shtick. Thankfully, he keeps it to a minimum here, wisely toning down his hysterics for an at-times sensitive portrayal of a guy who believes he peaked in high school.
At the end of it, this movie is less an action comedy and more a high school coming-of-age film.
It's telling that the finale isn't centred on the McGuffin and a showdown with the shadowy baddie; it's instead a showdown between Johnson and his grown-up high-school bully (Jason Bateman in a hilarious cameo).
Think of Central Intelligence as an extended episode of Glee, with muscles, punching and the occasional CIA torture scene.
VENUS by JOANNE SOH
I like it when Johnson steps out of his comfort zone.
This mammoth of an actor has been stretching his acting muscles lately, and it is always a breath of fresh air when he tackles comedies such as in Pain & Gain (2013) and Tooth Fairy (2010).
He is the bright spark in Central Intelligence, which is sorely lacking in the areas of story and comedy.
Thankfully, Johnson's broad shoulders are more than enough to carry this sad little flick.
To see him playing a wide-eyed dork who wears jorts and fanny packs is hilarious, especially when we are used to him roughing people up.
The issue of bullying is a strong one, and Johnson manages to bring that across despite Thurber's lame direction.
Also, the odd-couple pairing has been done to death in Hollywood.
Hart is already a regular in such genres but that's not to say he's an expert.
If I need to point fingers here, he's solely to blame.
His incessant whining is so annoying. He just can't shut it. It only gets worse when the situation calls for him to be more scared.
I didn't know that in Hart's playbook, being afraid and insecure means dialling up the level of his shrieking.
It's such a pity he turns out to be such a killjoy.
THE CONSENSUS: Smart to the guys but dumb to the girls. This is one polarising flick just for the fellas.
Poster Poser Star Trek Beyond
IF A PICTURE PAINTS A THOUSAND WORDS, THEN WHAT DO SOME MOVIE POSTERS TELL US?
STAR TREK BEYOND
What It Looks Like:
In this sequel to The Lord Of The Rings, we jump 6,000 years into the future, where Legolas' descendant - Space Legolas (Zachary Quinto) - battles the dark forces of Space Mordor with his trusty laser bow. As for his haircut, who knows?
What It's Really About:
The crew of the USS Enterprise encounters a new foe.
Movie Review: Sadako vs Kayako (NC16)
What happens when you pit two of Japan's most iconic ghosts - Sadako from The Ring and Kayako from Ju-On - against each other?
Although the premise makes for an epic crossover showdown not unlike the 2003 Hollywood horror flick Freddy versus Jason, Sadako versus Kayako turns out to be more campy than creepy.
College student Yuri (Mizuki Yamamoto) and her friend chance upon Sadako's famous cursed videotape and are doomed to die at the hands of the evil spirit.
High school student Suzuka (Tina Tamashiro) feels inexplicably drawn towards the haunted Saeki House and is cursed by Kayako.
Fans of The Ring and Ju-On will love this movie as it has all the classic moments from the previous films, like Sadako crawling out of the television set.
Cheesy? Yes. But scary? Nope.