‘Fist Fight’ is a hilarious raunch Fest that doesn’t seek to win audiences over with its poignant narrative, but does so with its well-timed comedic elements.
Fist Fight centers around the events of the senior’s last day of school at Roosevelt High. It’s been a long-standing tradition that the last day of school is also known as senior prank day. In the first few moments, we witness dicks being graffiti on school property, trip wires involving paint, and a random mariachi band who is following the principal (Dean Norris) just to piss him off. It’s enough to drive the coolest teachers to lose their mind and pushes Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) over the edge. A student decides to pull a prank on Mr. Strickland by messing with the remote control to which he responds by taking an ax and destroying his desk. Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) happens to witness this incident and ends up in the principal’s office along with Mr. Strickland to explain what happened. Strickland warns Campbell about that they have to stick together and throws in a reminder that “snitches get stitches” Predictably Campbell rats Strickland out and that leads to Strickland being fired. Rather than settle this like adults, Strickland chooses to end this with a brawl after school on the last day.
What I liked
Van Robichaux, Evan Susser, and Max Greenfield have constructed a storyline that is far from plausible but hit all the right comedic notes. No one attempted to put Charlie Day in the role of the “tough” school teacher, they allowed him to play the same neurotic role that we’ve seen in Horrible Bosses, and It’s All Sunny In Philadelphia. They played to Ice Cube’s strengths as well. His humor stems from his tough persona and to deviate from that would have been foolish.
Tracey Morgan, Jillian Bell, and Christina Hendricks were all hysterical. Morgan is, cast as the PE coach that is going to get the whole student body pregnant. Jillian Bell plays the Guidance Counselor who has a thing for younger men. Christina Hendricks plays Ms. Monet a straight edge teacher with a thing for cutting people. All three had chemistry with both Ice Cube and Charlie Day, and it heightened my enjoyment level.
Director Richie Keen tightly structured a majority of the scenes and that allowed the film not to drag. 80% of the scenes in Fist Fight would hit one or two beats and then go right to the punchline. The structure was very similar to most any sitcom you would see. This should n’t be a shock to most as Keen’s directorial experience stems from the work he’s done on television.
What I Didn’t Like
At various points, Fist Fight attempts to make a statement about the educational system, and I’m not sure why they even bothered to do that. No one is going to see this film and expecting to see Stand and Deliver or Mr. Holland’s Opus. Anyone who pays to see this movie is expecting to laugh and nothing more.
Fist Fight is the type of film that critics love to bash because it’s easy to do. Some might even go as far as to say that the movie isn’t deep and meaningful. Was that the intended purpose of this film? Criticizing this movie for not being deep enough is the same as ripping apart any of the Fast and Furious films for not having a strong narrative. You go into a Fist Fight or a Fast and Furious film to be entertained. Lucky for us this film accomplishes that.