Fist Fight (2017): Three O’Clock High Focusing on Teachers

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“Fist Fight” is directed by Richie Keen and stars Charlie Day (It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Horrible Bosses) and Ice Cube (Ride Along, xXx: State of the Union) and is about two teachers who challenge each other to a fight in a parking lot after school because one teacher caused another teacher to get fired.

Before going into this movie I thought a couple things. For one, I thought it would have a couple laughs at the very least, and two I thought from a pitch perspective, the guy pitching the movie thought it was a generic idea with a twist. I say this because in real life people challenge each other to fights after school and they’re typically students, not that I personally see it happen, but in the real world that’s what’s normal at the very least to the human mind. Not to mention, this has played out in movies and television before. One big example that comes to mind is “Three O’Clock High,” which based on recent conversations, is one of my dad’s favorite movies. I personally don’t like it as much as he does, which I find interesting because I gave it an 8/10 on IMDb. Looking back, I’d probably have to watch it again to see if I rated it correctly. And speaking of ratings, this movie is a little difficult to actually give a verdict to, because it is funny, it is entertaining, it does feel like what a comedy should be. Although at the same time, it feels like something we’ve seen before. Not just in terms of humor, but also in terms of story. Sure, I mentioned this movie is similar to “Three O’Clock High.” But if you’ve seen “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” and think to yourself real hard enough, a good portion of movie’s story takes the end of that movie and inserts it into this one as the main plot. I say that because in both movies, not only do you have people fighting each other, but the main character has to be at a kid’s event. Although the thing about “Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues” is that I cared more for the characters there. I will say “Fist Fight’s” particular kid’s event element, from memory, was something that I was able to care about perhaps slightly more than “Anchorman 2’s,” well, until it happened that is, because then it suddenly became cringeworthy.

Charlie Day plays the lead teacher in this movie. His name is Andy Campbell and he’s basically the wimp teacher. You can gather this through his speech patterns, his attitude, his words, all of those things. I imagine some people might have complaints with Day’s character because his lack of strength which might make him somewhat annoying, but to me, it just simply established his character. It didn’t really annoy me, in fact, it just helps showcase the differences between the teachers in this rivalry. Speaking of which, let’s talk about Ice Cube’s character.

Ice Cube plays Strickland, the strong teacher. Part of me wonders if the naming process was intentional for Cube’s character because “strick” sounds like “strict” and at times, that’s how Strickland comes off in this movie. From the first time you see Cube on screen, you know the dude means business. He takes no nonsense whatsoever, and if you see him in this movie he’s kind of an all-out jackass. I can imagine some teachers might relate to his jackassery because there is a scene where he takes a kid’s phone and throws it towards the wall causing it to break, but in the end, he’s still a jackass. Strickland is probably my favorite character in the movie along with Kumail Nanjiani’s character of Mehar, who was the school’s security guard.

This movie was funny in ways although unforgivably insane in other ways. Probably the most common joke that got drilled in my head because of this movie happened to be dick jokes. Granted, dick jokes can be funny, just watch “Deadpool” and you’ll see what I mean. Here though, they almost became rather repetitive. It’s not that they weren’t funny, it’s just that it was almost as if the movie was running out of ideas and it wanted to recycle jokes. There was also that cliche I really hate because it’s something that I always see coming, which is when someone randomly falls on the floor for the sake of a laugh. Granted, it wasn’t a fat person, but come on guys! We paid to laugh! WE DESERVE BETTER. I also mentioned that kid’s event earlier, the kid’s event is actually a talent show by the way, and there’s a part of the movie where you see this kid performing a very colorful song. I can understand some of the reactions, but the kid’s mother is actually rooting for this?! How do the kid’s parents approve of this?! I didn’t laugh, I almost checked out. This movie also has a couple moments, specifically from Charlie Day’s character, where he’d spend seconds repeating the same word over and over again. For example, he’s talking with Kumail Nanjiani’s character and for the sake of a joke, when Charlie Day randomly utters “s*it” Kumail Nanjiani says he’s in trouble because he cussed. So afterwards, Day keeps repeating “s*it” as if he was mocking Nanjiani. Speaking of awkward humor, one of the most awkward moments in the entire movie is when Andy Campbell runs into the character who plays his wife, I won’t go into detail, but it takes place during the day at a shopping plaza.

You may notice the character on the left of this image, that’s Christina Hendricks’s character who’s basically half Reba McEntire/half Judge Judy, Ms. Monet. I have one question. What the f*ck did she add to the movie?! Seriously! Why is she here?! I don’t remember anything redeeming about her character, I don’t remember what her purpose was in this movie. She tries to encourage Ice Cube in taking down Charlie Day at one point and when she does this, she refers to Day’s character as a pervert. OK, I’ve sat through the entirety of this film and I don’t see how it’s possible that Charlie Day’s character is perverted. Did she do this to make up a reason to get Cube going? What was the point? Maybe I’m missing something, but this may show the ineffectiveness of this movie, which is a problem in my book.

Also, I’ll say this, this movie is called “Fist Fight,” it’s about two teachers who are supposed to fight in a parking lot after school, but this movie has more in it than just all of that madness. There’s a story that’s introduced at one point of the movie’s runtime and is one of the final things you see resolved in the flick, and if you watch the film and the way the fight plays out, there’s a chance you might not care about the event that comes up afterwards.

In the end, “Fist Fight” may be watchable, but it’s not exactly great. There are better comedies out there, although on the bright side, it’s better than “Snatched,” another comedy which came out this year. While I may not fully like the movie I will say that I wouldn’t be surprised if it becomes a guilty pleasure for some people in the near future. Not to mention, I will say, as far as less than satisfactory movies go, this isn’t exactly boring. It’s A LOT less boring than other movies I’ve seen this year like the live-action “Ghost in the Shell” and “Logan Lucky.” However when it comes to stupidity, it might as well be fair to say it matches with this year’s “xXx: Return of Xander Cage.” I’m gonna give “Fist Fight” a 5/10. Thanks for reading this review. This weekend there’s a good chance I’m also gonna be watching “The Space Between Us,” which has been out for awhile now, I haven’t seen it yet, but I just picked up the Blu-Ray so there’s a good chance that a review is coming your way soon. I haven’t heard many great things about it, but sometimes you gotta take chances. I do want to see “Blade Runner 2049,” but I’m afraid you’re gonna have to a wait a bit longer for that review to happen. Stay tuned for more reviews, and I want to know out of curiosity, have you ever been in a fist fight? What was it like? Comment down below! Scene Before is your click to the flicks!

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