June 23, 2016
When he was in high school, Calvin Joyner is the Golden Jet, an A-student, star athlete, prom king, voted most likely to succeed. 20 years later, Joyner (Kevin Hart) is stuck in a dead-end accounting job and is having marital problems. Because of his dissatisfaction and embarrassment on how his life turned out, he is not too excited to attend their 20th anniversary high-school reunion.
On the other hand, when Robbie Wierdicht was in high school, he was an overweight nerdy guy who was the butt of bullies' cruel pranks. 20 years later, Wierdicht's baby fat have turned into the rock hard muscle of Bob Stone (Dwayne Johnson). He reconnects with Joyner whom he considered his only friend. Secretly, he was actually a CIA operative who has gone rogue, needing to crack a case involving satellites and terrorists in order to clear his name.
The unexpected novel gimmick in this film is that it is Johnson who does the comic role, while Hart does the straight man role.
Aside from his usual macho fight scenes, Johnson does so many embarrassing gags here, with a decidedly cheesy effeminate bent most unlikely of him. Imagine the Rock wearing a baby lavender t-shirt with a unicorn design on it, or singing along and dancing to En Vogue or talking about his favorite film of all time "Sixteen Candles". Hilarious stuff.
Hart, on the other hand, does well reacting as any nervous civilian caught in a crime caper would do, in his signature shrill motormouth way. His role is basically reactionary to the wild shenanigans of Johnson's character, so Hart relies on his exaggerated funny faces and awkward pratfalls to get the laughs, and he does.
Acclaimed actors Amy Ryan ("Gone Baby Gone") and Aaron Paul ("Breaking Bad") give effective supporting performances. Keep your eye out for uncredited cameo appearances of a couple of current comedy stars which were surprising. There were also some very funny candid outtakes shown during the end credits.
Of course, we can't really expect the script of a crazy film like this to be completely logical nor believable. However, because of Hart and Johnson's effectively comical "bromantic" partnership, audiences will easily give these funny scenes a pass and just enjoy them as they are. This movie does not aspire for Oscars, and nor should we expect too much when we watch this type of obviously shallow entertainment. Just sit back and LOL! 7/10