This review was written by Anthony J Digioia. Follow him and his website here for more awesome reviews: SilverScreen Analysis
“FIST FIGHT” stars; Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Jillian Bell, Tracy Morgan and is directed by Richie Keen.
This story follows two high-school teachers on the last day of school. The kids run rampant, the teachers are outnumbered and one of them will not take any crap. That being the super strict, conveniently named Mr. Strickland played by Ice Cube. On the opposite side, you have Mr. Campbell, a pacifist that would be intimidated by other pacifists.
When something happens at school, Mr. Campbell tells on Mr. Strickland, Strickland loses his job and like any true molders of young minds, he decides to challenge Mr. Campbell to a fight. With his goal being to teach the kids that consequences have actions, and that’s your plot.
Now it’s safe to say this film does not aim for political correctness, given it’s about fighting in schools with the age of bullying were in now. So, the premise alone seems to aim for shock value, and pretty much all the humor did as well.
There were endless waves of forced humor from each passing scene. A good portion deliver some chuckles, a few lines and scenes actually rouse a laugh, but for the most part the comedy was much more aimed at taking it to the next level of raunch, rather than showing a lot of ambition in feeling fresh.
I will admit I have a wide comedic range, I can find humor in most, and at times I did in this one, but not as much as I would have liked for an hour and a half. For the most part this film follows the usual stops, with the usual subplots, and of course the one musical montage.
Also, what ever happened to the cool days of the 80’s when montages in films were cheesy but still cool. These days all these comedies cram in a popular song, shoehorn it into a scene, and I don’t know if it’s just me but they are as awkward as sitting through a sex scene with your grandparents. The musical number in this one was a bit of both, but at least it was able to fit some comedic timing into it, unlike many others in recent memory.
The performances were serviceable, but no one really played anyone other than themselves. Day was Day, Cube was Cube, and Morgan was Morgan, but they still have some moments of laughter here and there. Just not nearly as much as there could have been.
I will admit though, the fight at the end was certainly entertaining, if you can suspend some disbelief. Now I graduated high-school in the 90’s, when Nicolas Cage was a top-billed action star, and everyone was doing that damn Macarena.
Schools these days I’m sure are much different than in my day but this one made it look pretty much like “Thunderdome” making teenagers look primal at times. But then again, I was surrounded by kids under the age of 10 in this screening, sitting through all the drug and sex related humor, so it may not be too unrealistic at all.
This film had its moments but was not very good, nor memorable. It was a simple plug and play raunch-com with actors and not characters. It wasn’t was terrible, but not good either, just simply average. Best I can say is, if you watch the Red Band Trailer to this movie and find a couple laughs, then you will enjoy this movie a little. If it doesn’t grab you, then this film will not be a fun watch. Either way its best watched at home on the couch.