Central Intelligence Dwayne Johnson

Comedy Gets Both Beefy and Fishy: Some Movies To See This Weekend, June 17, 2016

Friday, June 17, 2016 Rob Samuelson

Comedy rules the two wide releases this weekend. One of them is a team-up of two mega charming actors. The other is a return to a beloved (and funny) world filmgoers haven’t seen in 13 years.

Central Intelligence
Director: Rawson Marshall Thurber
Writers: Ike Barinholtz, David Stassen, Rawson Marshall Thurber
Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Amy Ryan, Danielle Nicolet, Aaron Paul, Ryan Hansen

People can change. Just look at Bob (Dwayne Johnson), a former morbidly obese high schooler who then spent six hours every day in the gym for 20 years in order to become a CIA agent. Then he meets up with his old high school pal (Kevin Hart), the only kid who was good to him then, in order to take down a terror threat to the country’s spy satellite program.

And there you have Central Intelligence’s premise. It’s simple, it leaves room for heart, and it features two of the biggest movie stars around. There are worse building blocks to have for your movie. Hopefully the film as a whole gets a little funnier than the trailer, which has little more than charm and funny-lite jokes flying every which way. But even if it’s not super good, you can still say you saw Dwayne Johnson be a spy. In reality, a guy that conspicuously giant (and memorable) would not be a good spy. However, he is the perfect movie spy, and it’s a little shocking he hasn’t had an entire franchise tailored to that perfection yet.

Finding Dory
Directors: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane
Writers: Andrew Stanton, victoria Strouse, Bob Peterson
Starring: Ellen DeGeneres, Albert Brooks, Ed O’Neill, Kaitlin Olson, Hayden Rolence

Returning to animation from his financially disastrous -- but creatively halfway successful -- live-action debut, 2012’s John Carter, co-writer and co-director Andrew Stanton is back in the saddle of the underwater world he made so vibrant in 2003 with Finding Nemo. That movie’s kooky sidekick, Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), takes center stage in this sequel, as she momentarily overcomes her memory problems to realize she has long been separated from her family and must go find them.

Along for the ride is the first movie’s protagonist, Marlin (Albert Brooks), Nemo (Hayden Rolence), and a new character, an octopus named Hanke (Ed O’Neill). If Finding Dory has half the pathos of the original, it will be doing all right. After last year’s Inside Out, when Pixar proved it can still knock them out of the park, there’s plenty of hope for this one.

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