The first few times I saw the trailer for Fist Fight, I kept flip flopping on how I felt. It looked like it could be funny, then it looked a poor premise that couldn’t be stretched to fill an entire movie. Then it looked funny again … then I remembered the plot is fully fleshed out in the trailer. We ended up deciding to watch it since Charlie Day is generally funny and Ice Cube plays a good straight man.
The premise of the movie is fairly straightforward. It is the last day of school and the seniors are running crazy with their senior pranks. Strickland (Ice Cube) plays the no nonsense teacher everyone is afraid of, and gets pushed too far. Campbell sees the altercation and ultimately rats him out to the principal to avoid getting fired. This causes Strickland to lose his job and challenge Campbell to a fight after school.
I would give Fist Fight 4 “horses on meth” out of 10.
Charlie Day and Ice Cube were the only reasons we decided to watch the movie, they ended up being the only worthwhile parts as well. Charlie Day played the scared / apologetic / manic teacher to a T, granted that is the role he generally plays. Ice Cube played the intimidating straight guy in a comedy perfectly, which seems to be his role as of late. They both played off each other well and had most of the decent jokes.
They spent all of the effort on the two main characters. Everyone else just fell flat and felt underused. The prime example is Christina Hendricks’s character was just weird and out of place. She wasn’t funny, scary, or anything that fit with the rest of the movie.
Almost any joke that wasn’t told by Charlie Day fizzled and was left to die on screen, even though plenty of other comedians were involved. Right after credits they started a blooper reel … always funny and worth staying for right? Wrong! They were more of cuts of alternate takes that could show the actors … not being funny.
Fist Fight was much better than I thought it would be, but also worse at the same time. The movie as a whole was better than I thought it could be story-wise. As a comedy, it is the typical case of most funny moments were in the trailer. If you are dying for a comedy, you could do worse than this movie and could justify paying for a matinee ticket or waiting to get it off Redbox.
The closest recommendation I can think of would be Horrible Bosses. It highlighted the manic-ness that Charlie Day is capable of and was overall a very funny comedy. It also stars Jason Sudekis and Jason Bateman as friends who all have horrible bosses, who they decide to kill. I never saw the sequel, but the first is worth watching.