Fist Fight was NOT my cup of whisky laced tea.  The situational comedy left me wanting, something that seems to keep happening with modern comedies.  If you are a Charlie Day fan, you’ll probably be more inclined to like this movie.

The story centers around teachers in a failing public high school. Charlie Day is English teacher Andy Campbell, a good guy struggling to keep his student’s attention on the final day of the year. Senior pranks are happening EVERYWHERE, and the looming mandatory cuts of staff due to budget restrictions are on everyone’s mind.

Guidance counselor talks about her meth addiction
Guidance counselor talks about her meth addiction

Jillian Bell plays guidance councilor Holly, who is obsessed with the possibility of sleeping with male students and jokes casually about her addiction to meth. Hilarious, right? *groans and rolls eyes* Her complete ineptness in her job makes you WANT to see her get fired, and was more cringeworthy than I was expecting.  Tracy Morgan makes a pretty triumphant return to film, playing the school’s coach, who can’t get the lackluster athletes to win in a single sport.

I sure as HELL wouldn't want to piss that guy off.
I sure as HELL wouldn’t want to piss that guy off.

Ice Cube is history teacher Strickland, who rules his classroom with an iron fist.  Seriously, his students are terrified of him, which after he destroys a desk with a fire axe attempting to kill a jerk kid, I can’t say I blame them.  The student who escaped the axe complains to the principle, and after Campbell ALSO rats on Strickland, the principle fires him.  This of course causes Strickland to threaten Campbell to a fight after school in the parking lot.

Poor Charlie Day.
Poor Charlie Day.

The fight itself is really well filmed, the most impressive part of the movie is the crane (possibly drone) work of the crowd of students gathered around to watch Strickland kill Campbell.  It’s probably the only part of Fist Fight that made it worth the hour and a half runtime.

SCORE: 1 OUT OF 5, I will not see this film again.

The script is fine, the performances predictable, the language is crude and without real wit. When comedy writers start to fall off the wagon of intelligent humor, my interest is lost almost immediately.  That’s not to say I dislike pointless comedy, because I do.  This was something without any real point, without any real reason to be made.  If you want a ridiculous distraction with lots of poor taste dialog and enjoyed the Vacation reboot, than this is a film for you.

When I don’t laugh a single time during a comedy that had the rest of the theater riotously celebrating the hilarity on screen, I start to feel out of touch.  When no other reviewers (my particular screening had three rows of press) were laughing either, I feel slightly better that I’m not alone in my complete and utter detachment from enjoying said film.

FIST FIGHT opens worldwide on Friday, February 17th 2017.

ABOUT >> Mary Anne Butler
  • BIO >> Mary Anne Butler (Mab) is a reporter and photographer from San Francisco California. She is a lifelong geek, huge music nerd, occasionally cosplays at conventions, does Renaissance Faires, and in general lives the life of a True Believer. She may be short, but she makes up for it with a loud voice.
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