Dwayne Johnson is a National Treasure in ‘Central Intelligence’ Trailer

Allow me to reiterate: Dwayne Johnson is a national treasure.

“I’m biased,” you might say.

“Just look at this guy’s bio,” you might say*.

“He’s writing clickbait,” you might even say.

Well, yeah. Sort of.

Warner Bros. released the second full trailer for Central Intelligence and it looks like it doesn’t have a surprise up its sleeve. The trailer sells a film that looks like another over-lit, interchangeable, studio action/comedy. It also looks like it knows full-well what its greatest asset is: Dwayne Johnson.

In a setup that involves Kevin Hart (who is billed as the lead but whose screen time here is dwarfed by the “Big Johnson”) playing the only kid in high school who stuck up for Robbie Wierdick (I’m not sure about that spelling but it really doesn’t matter, does it?), aka The Rock, as he was publicly humiliated for being a confidently overweight En Vogue fan. Move forward 20 years and we meet Bob who is now the hulking mass of The Rock we are all familiar with and also a deadly CIA agent. Bob recruits Kevin Hart because of his “super sweet accounting skills” and the fact he’s still the only person he trusts because of this moment of high school mercy to retrieve some CIA spy encryption doohickeys. Hilarity ensues because of the chemistry of the stars and the irony of the situation. Check it out for yourself:

[embedyt] http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MxEw3elSJ8M[/embedyt]

Back to my initial point: Rewatch that trailer and this time pay close attention to everything The Rock is doing. He’s acting. He’s playing a character and committing fully to every moment asked of him. I see genuine sadness and gratitude in his eyes in that gym. I see delirious glee as he executes his plan to escape a building through a high-rise window, putting Kevin Hart in vicious mortal danger. There is real joy and madness bubbling underneath the surface of this character and that is all thanks to Mr. Johnson. My affinity for the actor might be what caused me to actually laugh at moments here but I objectively believe what he’s doing is unadulterated entertainment.

Am I saying The Rock is our best actor? Nope. I’m saying that he’s far and away our most entertaining superstar and one with real chops behind the muscle. Go back and watch Pain & Gain or Snitch (he’s severely miscast but that’s not his fault) or even Fast Five and you’ll see a performer radiating screen presence. His matching here with Kevin Hart seems fine but we’ll have to see if he can hold a candle to The Rock’s energy. Hopefully the film can also deliver on its poignant “I don’t like bullies” approach.

I’m going to go and see Central Intelligence. Though if it weren’t for Mr. Johnson, I doubt I’d be interested.

*Go ahead, check it out below if you haven’t already.

Curtis Waugh
Curtis Waugh
Curtis is a Los Angeles transplant from a long lost land called Ohio. He aspires to transmute his experiences growing up a Monster Kid into something that will horrify normal people around the world. When he isn't bemoaning the loss of the latest Guillermo del Toro project, Curtis can be found every Thursday night at the Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard, awaiting the next Dwayne Johnson movie.