Fist Fight Review
When deciding whether or not I like or dislike a movie, and by figuring out how much I like or dislike a movie, depends solely on how well I feel the movie completed its goals. If I am watching a horror movie, the thing I pay the closest attention to is how many times I get scared. If I am watching an action movie, how well the action set pieces work is a huge factor. Sure, story and originality and character development, those all matter too. But if a movie can't even represent its genre in any form, then why am I required to care? If you say that you are comedy, I better fucking laugh, somewhere, at least once. Otherwise, you have already failed.
Despite featuring a cast that includes Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Jillian Bell, Tracy Morgan, and Kumail Nanjiani, despite featuring an idea ripe for big laughs, "Fist Fight" ultimately fails. I never laughed once. Yes, you read that correctly. I. Never. Laughed. Once. I have a broad sense of humor. Anybody who knows me knows this. I am the easiest guy to get laughing up a storm. I laugh at the dumbest shit on the planet, and sometimes I am bit immature at what I laugh about. There was never a funny moment for even the most immature person locked inside ourselves. No matter which way you look at it, "Fist Fight" is just not funny.
Charlie Day and Ice Cube are both high school teachers on the last day of school. There are senior pranks all over the place, more extreme than you could ever think of, more sporadic then you would ever imagine possible. Ice Cube can't handle that anymore, so he breaks a student's cell phone and breaks his desk with an axe out of anger. Charlie Day's character is there to witness it. The principal of the school (Dean Norris), will either fire both of them, or the person who threatened the kid must admit it. Charlie Day can't lose his job, he has a new baby on the way. He needs this more than anything else, so he comes clean on what Ice Cube did in his classroom. Ice Cube gets mad, thinking teachers should stick together, so he wants to fight him. Word gets out, Twitter gets involved, and the rest of the movie is a build-up to the big fight.
Its just that nothing much happens in between. We are just in a constant stall until the fight occurs. I didn't use character names for the actors above, because they are types and cliches, not characters. You can teleplay every decision that is going to be made int his movie. Plus, Ice Cube and Charlie Day are playing the exact same characters they play in all of their movies that nobody they play actually qualifies as a character. We are seeing these two guys do exactly what they always do, so its tricky to really judge them on their characters. I suppose they did what they were asked to do, which is fine I guess. Its common for comedic actors to fall typecast into the same role over and over again, but even the best of them at least attempt a new bag of tricks each time. Not these two. Not that they are alone. Every cast member seems determined to be the same people they always are.
I suppose its fitting that everybody plays up their typecast here, because the story line is pretty familiar too. Of course each character is going to learn a valuable life lesson by the end of this movie. If "Fist Fight" gets one thing right, its that teachers are invaluable. They are real life heroes, along side policemen, fire-fighters, the military and doctors. When you are watching a good teacher, you witness a work of art. There are comments in this movie that discuss why teachers can't be disposable, why we should nurture them, make sure they have the tools to do the best job possible. No teacher should be expendable, and its the truest lesson in the entire movie.
I just wish I cared more.
I just wish I laughed more.
I can't categorize "Fist Fight" as a comedy. Because its not. Its not really a drama either. It certainly isn't a horror movie or science fiction and definitely not romance. "Fist Fight" is just kind of there, and that is truly aggravating.
FINAL GRADE: D-