Friday, February 24, 2017

[Review] Fist Fight

Ah, the good old "meet me after school" fist fight. Except this one is between a pair of teachers...

It's 'Senior Prank Day' and students are racing on mattresses down stairs, horses are running through the hallways, and there are dicks drawn...everywhere. Charlie Day and Ice Cube star as Mr. Campbell and Mr. Strickland, a pushover English teacher and a tough-talking history teacher, respectively. The students pit them against each other, and Charlie Day's character sort of gets Ice Cube's character fired. Not one to go down lightly, Ice Cube sets up a 1-on-1 throwdown IN THE PARKING LOT!

The humor is totally hit and miss. Mostly miss. Okay it's kind of awful. A lot of it is crude, perverse, and just loathsome. But there are a couple funny moments from funny people here. Tracy Morgan plays a coach whose teams consistently lead the league in losing. Dean Norris pops forehead veins as the school's hotheaded principal. And Kumail Nanjiani serves as a bumbling security guard. With that said, the only part I really laughed at involves Ice Cube yelling at his class of bratty kids and insisting that the Civil War wasn't the same thing as "Batman vs Superman" or "Tupac vs Biggie".

But Fist Fight comes with a mighty thin plot, so there's a big gap to fill between the beginning and end, and most of the material just doesn't fly. It's unabashedly over-the-top, but in the worst ways. It plays like a 21 Jump Street D-side. It's basically the "Cash Me Outside" of teacher comedies. It also relies too heavily on the notion that people still think a bunch of loud F-bombs are hilarious and edgy. And depending on your threshold for hearing young caucasian girls obnoxiously rap Big Sean songs, you might want to get yourself expelled from sitting through this movie.

While there's a bit of fun to be had (and I really mean a bit, like an eraser tip's worth of fun), the film is pretty much what you'd expect from a low-level, first semester romp.

( 4/10 )

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