Sunday, May 28, 2017
Video review: "Fist Fight"
All movies have plot holes. Some you can drive a truck through. Others are meager quibbles that only occur to you long after you’ve left the theater.
With “Fist Fight,” the entire movie is a plot hole. As in, its very premise makes not a lick of sense. It’s hard to take a movie seriously, even a comedy, when it insults your intelligence right off the bat.
The set-up is that Charlie Day is Andy, a nebbish-y high school teacher who gets challenged to a fight by Ice Cube, also playing a teacher, but a much meaner one named Strickland. The fisticuffs are supposed to take place in the school parking lot after the last bell, so the entire student body can bear witness to the beat-down.
Even swallowing the stupidity that such a thing wouldn’t immediately be shut down by administrators and/or law enforcement -- especially after the challenge goes viral on social media and YouTube -- why wouldn’t Andy just fake a cough and go home? He certainly looks like he’s ill, trembling with fear as he spends the rest of the day contriving to get out of the fight.
Such roles have become Day’s bread-and-butter, usually as the comic relief or sidekick. As for Cube, his acting style hasn’t really varied in 20 years.
“Fist Fight” has a few scraps of funny. Tracy Morgan plays the inept football coach, and he can garner a few laughs just on sheer force of personality. Jillian Bell scores a few more as a drug-addled teacher desperately trying to hook up with one of her students. (Admittedly, it’s funnier than it sounds.)
Mostly, though, watching this movie feels like spending time in special detention for boneheads.
Extra features are pretty apathetic, consisting of some deleted scenes and (on the Blu-ray version) a feature about the Georgia Film Commission, which gives tax credits for film production. Sounds more like homework than a bonus.