Fist Fight is a 2017 comedy directed by Richie Keen that tries hard to be funny, but just offers over the top antics and excessive cursing with minimal laughs. Its only saving grace is the last twenty minutes that involve a talent show and the fight promised in the title. There are moments that might earn a small smile, but really the film feels too silly and poorly written.
Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is a teacher at a high school on the last day before summer. He has to survive excessively crazy senior pranks, an interview to keep his job, and a disgruntled co-worker who has challenged him to a fight while managing to keep his promise to his daughter to dance with her in her talent show. This premise could be comedic gold, but lots of scenes that were “improvised”, reliance weak blue comedy, and what felt like an attempt of social commentary really made it an overall awful experience.
Ice Cube was basically cast and written to play a parody of his other roles. There is even a montage of rumors about who Strickland was before he was a teacher that essentially felt like it was referencing his past films. He says “You got knocked the F*** out,” and “F*** the Police,” in this movie as an attempt to get cheap laughs. The audience during this showing didn’t laugh much until the end where the fight, filmed fairly well, and the shock from a talent show performance finally offered a little bit of payoff long promised by the premise from the trailer.
Comedies don’t have to have substance to be funny. However, like many films, an emotional attachment to a character can help carry any story. Yet, this film doesn’t succeed in anything it sets out to accomplish. It’s a movie that even its target demographic will likely only laugh at briefly and then move on to a hopefully better production.
Jonathan Berk's Rating: D-