On the last day of school, right on Senior Prank Day in Roosevelt High, things don't look good for meek English teacher Andy Campbell, who feels exceptionally expendable facing a bleak future in front of severe job cuts, just before the year's new school season. But soon, things will go from bad to worse when feeble Campbell will infuriate the scary hot-headed history teacher Ron Strickland, who in turn, he will challenge him in an old-school, no-holds-barred, mano-a-mano throwdown in front of everybody, in the parking lot after school. Inevitably, now that the fight is on, no excuses, no regrets, and certainly no talking sense into Strickland, is going to save Campbell who needs to face the consequences of his actions and pay the heavy price. After all, snitches get stitches.Written by
Just before being arrested, Ice Cube (Mr. Strickland) says "f**k the police" a reference to a song of the same name by his former rap group N.W.A. See more »
After revealing the "drawing" on the left side of the chalkboard, the board then shows writing in purple, then back to the drawing later in the day. If it was cleared to write notes, Campbell wouldn't have put the "drawing" back up later. See more »
Written by Wax Tailor (as Jean-Christophe Le Saoût), Benjamin Bambach, Maik Schindler and Daryl Parks
Performed by Wax Tailor featuring A.S.M. & Mattic
Courtesy of Lab'Oratoire See more »
"Fist Fight"- Likable, charismatic performances cannot save this woefully unfunny comedy. The heckler in my audience was funnier than the film...
So, I just got back from seeing "Fist Fight"... And already, I'm struggling to remember a single thing about it. Other of course than the fact that it's a comedy that somehow didn't illicit a single laugh from me, and only was able to conjure up the most-hearted of occasional chuckles and smirks.
It's a truly sad state of affairs when a heckler popped up in the sparse audience at my screening, and he was genuinely so much funnier than the film, that I didn't even bother reporting him to the staff. And neither did the only other person who was in the theater with us. Yes, it's a shame, but "Fist Fight" is a dreadfully dry and humorless film, filled to burst with top-notch comedic performers doing the best they can with a stale and trite script and bland, flavorless direction. It's frankly shocking just how little life there is to the film and how badly is squanders just about every single attempt at making a joke or setting up a good running gag. The excellent Charlie Day, likable Ice Cube, gorgeous Christina Hendricks and amusing Jillian Bell all deserve a much better film than director Richie Keen and his trio of screenwriters are able to muster up here.
Day stars as High School English teacher Andy Campbell, a nice guy whose a bit of a pushover, as he contends with a series of personal conflicts on the last day of the school year. This includes infamous senior pranks, his wife's pregnancy, the lingering threat of potentially losing his job due to lay-offs... and of course the wrath of Strickland (Ice Cube), a vicious and strict History teacher who he accidentally gets fired and who swears vengeance by challenging Campbell to a fight after school. And so the race is on for Campbell to try and figure out a way to stop the fight from happening, while he also juggles the other issues that the day will bring him.
To get it out of the way, the cast is probably the only good thing about the film. Day is a lot of fun as our lead and Ice Cube makes for a satisfying enough foil, even though the role is written to be so far over-the-top as to be ridiculous. Co-stars Jillian Bell and Christina Hendricks are a bit of fun, both both are very under-used and despite prominently being featured in the advertising, both get maybe 5 minutes of screen time. (And I'm pretty sure Hendricks only really has about three lines of dialog, and other than that basically just stands around for cheap, tactless eye-candy.) And I will admit that without spoiling it, there is one stand-out sequence in the final act that almost got me because it came relatively unexpected.
But other than that... the film's just atrociously and aggressively dull.
From the opening minutes, you basically learn the film only has two real "jokes" that it uses over and over- that being the repetitive and cliché "senior pranks" and Ice Cube becoming increasingly violent in such a way that it's more disturbing and troubling than funny. When one of the main recurring jokes of the film is the fact that the students have drawn male reproductive organs all over the school for our leads to occasionally stumble onto about once every ten minutes, you know you're in for a painful ride. It's tasteless Middle-School humor that anyone over the age of 20 will likely just find repulsive and groan- inducing. There's a reason most of us stop doing that sort-of thing once we reach adulthood... it's just not that funny once you grow up.
And Cube's character is written to be so hateful and heinous, you can't even really laugh at his behavior. When his first major scene involves him brandishing an ax and threatening a student with it, and he spends most of his time threatening Day with lazy justifications for his actions, you lose all sympathy for him. Oh, and the film also makes our "hero" out to be so much of a coward that you end up hating him, too. Kinda hard to sympathize with a lead who is such a measly little worm, he does some really immoral and terrible things to get out of the fight. Add to that some laughably terrible old tropes and painfully predictable story-threads from the DOA script and director Keen's complete lack of creative vision, and you have yourself a recipe for disaster. It's not even a good-looking film. I can't even give it that credit.
If you're 13-years-old and think that dirty anatomical sketches and people screaming about sex and punching each other is comedic gold, you'll probably love this film. If you're at all a discerning and responsible film-goer, you best stay far away from "Fist Fight." This is just a putrid, shockingly unfunny endeavor.
I give it a terrible 2 out of 10. Avoid.
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