Fist Fight

The first mistake Fist Fight makes, and it makes it before it even starts, is assuming everyone in the audience is high. Not just assuming, but requiring. Requiring it, necessitating it with its very premise, yet rudely NOT passing out joints before the opening credits roll. There is nothing about this movie that will make sense unless you are largely mentally incapacitated. Let me be clear: there is no amount of marijuana that will help this movie to make any sense in the strictest definition of the word. There may, however, be a sweet spot where you just don’t care, and if you find it, let me know.

Charlie Day is a mild-mannered English teacher and Ice Cube is an intimidating history teacher at the same “rough” high school where it’s the last day of school, students are fistfight0003wild, and everyone’s job is on the chopping block. Before first period is even over, Ice Cube takes the chopping a little too literally, taking an actual fire ax to a student’s desk. Mean principal Tyler (Dean Norris) insists on firing one of them on the spot, and since Charlie Day’s got a baby due any minute (and is in fact NOT the one to threaten students with an ax), he lets Tyler know that Ice Cube is perhaps the obvious choice. This enrages Ice Cube, and instead of taking his anger out on the student who pissed him off, or the principal who just fired him, or the superintendent who made him interview for his own job, he for no apparent reason zeroes in on the innocent and oblivious Charlie Day, who we’ve already established as a “coward” for no particular reason, but he’s wearing khakis and a nubby sports coat, so let’s go with it.

Charlie Day spends the rest of his day in a total panic, trying to avoid this #teacherfight. Will he stoop to black mailing students? Planting drugs on fellow teachers? Lying to his pregnant wife and disappointing his young daughter? Of course he will. And most egregiously, he will go to Tracy Morgan for advice. I mean, I can suspend my disbelief enough to allow for a horse amped up on homemade meth. Sure. But someone seeking out Tracy Morgan for advice? Come on.

I have an enormous crush on Ice Cube, and he’s very Ice Cube-y in this. And Charlie Day is fistfightquite Charlie Day. It’s too bad nobody wrote for them. Or really wrote at all, period. The run up to the #teacherfight is so standard you’ll wonder where you’ve seen it before and realize the answer is: everywhere. This movie borrows heavily from all kinds of mediocre movies and doesn’t even bother to steal the best stuff. It’s lazy. And absurd. And when the fight occurs, it’ll require exceptions to the rules of time and space that your brain won’t even be able to handle, nor will it want to because this movie just doesn’t deserve that kind of effort.

Fist Fight has all the makings of a mid-February comedy. It’s like it didn’t even try to be anything more.

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20 thoughts on “Fist Fight

    1. Jay Post author

      I was “helped” when I saw it and Sean thought I was disturbingly straight-faced through it all, especially considering the giggles I got in the car afterward with no apparent reason.

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  1. Liz A.

    That doesn’t sound even the least bit plausible. And while I can suspend disbelief for a lot (I do enjoy speculative fiction), telling me a teacher took an ax to a desk in a classroom full of students and wasn’t fired on the spot? Yeah, not happening.

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    1. Jay Post author

      Rarely.
      And probably not ever strictly for badness but if it makes me MAD or makes me squirm in embarrassment, then maybe.
      I’m even worse with books. I will hate-read a book cover to cover.

      Liked by 1 person

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      1. Lacey

        I do that too with books! I have no idea why. They are more of a time investment. So I think that’s why I don’t put them down, because I’ve already started and spent time on it. But for that reason sometimes I should walk away from it.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. sportsattitudes

    The casting looks promising. But we know that’s only part of the equation to add up to a good movie. If I visit this school sober or otherwise I’ll be back to advise if the sweet spot was located.

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  3. Jason

    Charlie Day and Ice Cube were good in the movie (basically playing to their strengths) and the zany premise was fun, but the movie itself lacks substance (its a weak story plot) with some jokes not hitting their mark and what’s up with Christina Hendricks weird character. So bizaare!

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