Friday, February 17, 2017
Movie Review: Fist Fight
I was hoping Fist Fight would be funny, since it has a great cast - Ice Cube and Charlie Day play the two main characters, and there's a slew of other A-listers in the supporting cast, too. However, although it does have some funny moments, most of the jokes weren't that great.
It's the last day of school, and Mr. Campbell (Day) knows things are going to be crazy - the seniors at the high school where he teaches are going nuts with pranks. On top of that, the teachers are having to re-interview for their jobs, because of budget cuts, so he's not looking forward to facing the principal (Dean Norris, Breaking Bad) at the end of the day. And on top of THAT, his wife is nine months pregnant, and about ready to give birth to their second child.
When Mr. Campbell witnesses an incident between Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) and another student, that results in Strickland taking an ax to the student's desk, he tattles on Strickland to the principal, in order to save his own job; this prompts Strickland to challenge him to a fist fight after school. Campbell now needs to learn how to fight, and fast, so he doesn't get completely annihilated by Strickland, who has quite the reputation.
I'm a big fan of Charlie Day from the Horrible Bosses movies (I've never really watched It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia), and he was good here, as was Ice Cube; however, the script is all over the place. Christina Hendricks (Mad Men) plays another teacher, too, who is even crazier than Strickland - she encourages Strickland to knife Campbell - but is only in the movie for maybe three scenes. The always-funny Jillian Bell plays a teacher as well, who thinks that once students turn 18, they're fair game for her, romantically; and Kumail Nanjiani (Silicon Valley) plays a school security guard, who stole the show and was definitely underused. Other supporting cast members included Tracy Morgan, Dennis Haysbert (but only for a few scenes), and JoAnna Garcia Swisher.
Maybe see this movie. It definitely has some laugh-out-loud funny moments in it, and I especially enjoyed the ending, but overall I kept checking my watch throughout its runtime (which is actually pretty short, clocking in at only an hour and a half). Make sure to stay through the credits, though, if you go - there's a gag reel which was fun to watch. However, from this group of actors I was hoping that Fist Fight would be more of a laugh - and even though more the fault of the script than the cast, the film doesn't measure up.
Fist Fight is in theaters today, February 17th, and is rated R with a runtime of 91 minutes. 2.5 stars out of 5.