The premise of Fist Fight is almost too simple to believe, and as a matter of fact, it barely needs any description. A high school teacher named Strickland (Ice Cube), who’s notorious for his brutal ways, is fired after being ratted in by fellow teacher, Andy Campbell (Charlie Day). Displeased with the course his day has taken and fuelled with genuine hatred, Strickland challenges the weak, confrontation-less Andy to a fistfight after school. And that’s about it. From here, we get a 91-minute ‘comedy’ that feels closer to three hours, achieving little and creating even fewer laughs.
Let’s take a look at the film’s cast. Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Tracey Morgan, Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Dean Norris and Kumail Nanjiani make up the star-studded cast list. Each and every one of them deserve better than this. They’re all actors who have managed to prove themselves in prior roles, whether that’s on the big screen or the little screen, yet when it comes to Fist Fight, it almost feels as if their talent has been taken advantage of. They’re big names that have been brought on to sell a movie that otherwise wouldn’t really sell, and while that may work to boost the profit, this isn’t the film these actors deserve to be in.
When I did laugh, although rarely was it more than a slight chuckling, it always came from those two going at each other. When paired up with the supporting cast, that’s when things got baaaaaad. Everybody tries way too hard to be funny, especially Jillian Bell who stole every scene, and not in a good way. Her character was irritable and stupid, always in your face and never allowing the other actors to have any breathing room. When she’s on screen, she gets all the jokes, and never were they funny. Oh, and how I wish I could forget that Christina Hendricks was in this movie. If you thought Bad Santa 2 was just a one off terrible comedy for her, get ready for Fist Fight. Granted, it’s not as bad, but her role is oh so painful to watch.
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