CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE (2016)
Rawson Marshall Thurber directed this comedy action film from an original screenplay he co-wrote with Ike Barinholtz and David Stassen. It is about two high school friends who reacquaint themselves twenty years after graduation and the changes that have taken place in the meantime. Though a comedy film with “only in a movie” type of scenarios, it has a surprisingly good script while tackling the meaning of true friendship, the act of forgiveness and how devastatingly cruel teenagers can be to each other when one doesn’t quite fit in with the “in crowd.” Also the lasting and permanent impact devastatingly cruel behavior can have on an individual. Fine performances are to be had from Dwayne Johnson, whose turning out to be quite the comedian and dramatic actor (but wasn’t he always, since most of what he did as star wrestler “The Rock” was quite comedic), Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Aaron Paul, Danielle Nicolet, Jason Bateman and a surprising appearance by Melissa McCarthy who is excellent in her role. This film isn’t Tolstoy but then it wasn’t meant to be, but for what it is, it rises far above other films in this genre that have been released lately.