The movie is a remake of a forgotten 1980s teen comedy that was released before reports of school violence filled our news feeds.
Tracy Morgan helps Jillian Bell and Charlie Day out in "Fist Fight". Fist Fight isn't as bad as something like Dinner for Schmucks, which ultimately wants its cake and to eat it, too, with its condemnation of a group of guys who publicly mock odd individuals they've wrangled together being in contradiction to the fact that movie itself means for the audience to laugh at those eccentric characters.
But if your humour tastes are slightly more refined than a 16-year-old's, you're going to feel like you went 12 rounds with a couple of infantile jokesters.
Oh yeah, in there, Campbell has to deal with his wife and make it to his young daughter's talent competition, where they lip sync Big Sean's I Don't F-- With You (this got laughs at the screening I was at, but that might have been me). "And everybody have their different techniques, but at the end of the day, it's really about...you know, teachers are frustrated and, you know, we need to do something about it", Ice Cube said. The movie lives up to its title and gives us an epic (if somewhat cartoonish) fist fight between the two. I just think the movie company didn't really want to highlight or promote the fact of teachers fighting, to that extent.
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It's the last day of school, and all Andy has to do is not get fired as part of the poorly timed downsizing meetings that are happening, take time out of his day to perform a daddy-daughter musical number at her elementary school, and generally survive the wacky and really risky pranks the outgoing seniors are performing. Campbell goes to great lengths to avoid the fight-bribing students to change their stories of the incident, trying to get Strickland arrested before 3:00-but to no avail. As established at the outset, "Fist Fight" is set in the world of the ridiculous, so it follows that Campbell would go to insane lengths to avoid the fight with Strickland, including buying drugs from a student to plant on his colleague. Everybody in the movie is pretty much on the poster. Well, when he tries to justify the fist fight as a way to call attention to problems at the school, nobody believes it. "It's a good workout", admitted Ice Cube, 47. You sort of get away and you know, which you guys do. In the end, if it's about anything other than why insane people should not all be stuck in a school together, it's how there are significant pros and cons to both a violent approach and a strictly passive approach to challenges. Christina Hendricks, as an intense drama teacher who apparently has a crush on Strickland (which was never explained or explored), seems like she was thrown into the movie for little reason.
Day is simply not gifted enough to lead a comedy on his own - his awkward, what-world-am-I-living-in anxiety is not just lacklustre, it's downright agonizing. They're gonna have to fight it out after school, a task for which Andy is woefully unequipped. The two worked together previously on television's It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia, on which Day is a main character and Keen directed a number of episodes from 2012 to 2015.
They also deliver on the goods. The film isn't about telling a coherent and thoughtful story and it's at its best when it sticks to crude humor.