review by Bobby Blakey
I love seeing Ice Cube in a great comedic role and the unlikely pairing with Charlie Day for their latest film Fist Fight looks like it could be a lot of fun. The film also stars Jillian Bell, Dean Norris, Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, Kumail Nanjiani, JoAnna Garcia Swisher and Tracy Morgan returning to the big screen where he belongs, but does it have the laughs to live up to the trailer or will it not be able to take the punch?
Fist Fight follows the last day of the school year where mild-mannered high school English teacher Andy Campbell is trying his best to keep it together amidst senior pranks, a dysfunctional administration and budget cuts that put jobs on the line. But things go from bad to worse when he accidentally crosses his much tougher and deeply feared colleague, Ron Strickland, who challenges Campbell to an old-fashioned throw down after school. News of the fight spreads like wildfire and ends up becoming the very thing this school, and Campbell, needed. One of my favorite films growing up was the cheesay 80s flick Three O’Clock High which this film is clearly based off of, so going in I was pretty excited to see what they did with this version. The film is pretty much exactly what you might expect with some pretty funny moments early on, but the fight at the end being the real treat. As the film moves along it actually played closer to the original than I expected as well as did some different things with the story than the trailers led me to believe. This doesn’t mean they did anything overly original in the end, but it still worked for some silly fun.
The entire cast did a decent job here offering up some great laughs with pretty much everyone including Ice Cube. Day and Cube have great chemistry feeding off of each other and their fight at the end is a lot of fun to watch. They made sure to let them both cut loose and deliver something worth the build-up. I loved seeing Tracy Morgan back on the big screen and throwing the funny quips like only he can. I think my favorite of the film outside of the leads has to be Jillian Bell who always brings her dry with and raunchy behavior with hilarious results. Sadly not everything worked with some of the jokes feeling a bit forced and a hefty section in the middle that limps a long a bit slowing everything down. Thankfully it gets us back to the fight to cap it off and help you forget about that.
This is far from a perfect film and isn’t breaking down any comedy barriers, but does a good job at bringing a new twist on the original film. If you hate the original or anyone in this cast then you will likely not be able to invest in the overall silliness of it all, but I for one had a good time.
In addition to the film this release also includes deleted scenes for fans to enjoy. Head over to the bike racks and get ready for the fight when Fist Fight comes to Blu-ray and DVD on May 30th from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment.