While The Rock has cut his teeth on action flicks, comedy is still one of his strongest genres, and the team-up of odd couple pairings with Kevin Hart reinforces that strength. Here, Robbie Wierdicht (Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson) catches up with his idol, Calvin Joyner (Hart), twenty years after Joyner saved the remains of Wierdicht’s dignity after a high school graduation prank. Now, on the eve of their high school reunion, Wierdicht is a bumbling CIA agent on the run and Joyner is struggling with his psyche as a forensic accountant. And oh, how they need each other!
Connecting through Facebook, the two bumble their way through a first encounter, only to find that Wierdicht’s CIA handler, Pam Harris (Amy Ryan), is hot on his trail. Wierdicht is accused of murdering his partner, but he swears that the Black Badger has set him up. Unfortunately, no one has ever seen the Black Badger. Battling through squads of CIA gents, hails of bullets, and clues about a deal that the Black Badger is doing on the black market, the two oddballs are drawn closer together, and deeper in trouble.
Quite honestly, this is the funniest Hart movie I’ve seen in several rounds. Maybe it’s that the Rock is that good. Maybe it’s that the chemistry between the two of them is that strong. Yes, there are some exciting, action-packed moments, but ultimately, this is about a couple of guys trying to figure out how to be friends. And we guys definitely need all the help that we can get.
One particularly funny/troubling moment happens thanks to the grown-up version of Wierdict’s nemesis. He (Jason Bateman) claims to have been converted by the Lord’s grace (he hasn’t) but it’s an interesting rabbit trail about what forgiveness might look. Ultimately, it appears that it’s more about how people don’t change – bullies are forever.