There is no mystery around the plot to Fist Fight. A 2017 comedy that opens this Friday on February 17. The feature pits rapper and tough man Ice Cube against mild-mannered schoolteacher Charlie Day. And, while there are moments of fun, the critics cannot agree on the merits of this production.
The Richie Keen film includes the likes of Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Kumail Nanjiani and Christina Hendricks. Yet they are considered underutilized in some departments. Without any clear consensus it would be best for audience members to make their own judgements, depending on who you take your cues from.
Hilarious Romp That Improves With Time: The Case For
Alex Gilyadov of IGN gave the movie a glowing review and makes special mention of it's leading man.
"Cube continues his comedic winning streak in the satisfyingly crude Fist Fight," starts the reviewer, "a film light on plot and character development, but one that still often shines due to its hilarious star-studded cast."
"The film isn’t about telling a coherent and thoughtful story and it’s at its best when it sticks to crude humor. Thankfully, the titular clash between Campbell and Strickland is a well-choreographed and engaging spectacle that lives up to the hype... (it) is still a boisterously funny and enjoyable ride that works so well because of its leads."
THR are more willing to admit the flaws. But also argue that the flick actually improves over time as the characters grasp their roles better as the conflict crescendos to a climax.
"The film's last act grows more enjoyable by the minute, observing as the teacher stands up not just to his tormentor but to everyone else who might want to demean him," they conclude. "The movie is funnier and more colorful than its flat moniker suggests, and when that dreaded rumble finally arrives, it involves much more than fists."
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Peter Debruge of Variety believes this installment is regrettable on a number of fronts, the first of which was to drop the standards of what constituted a comedy.
"It’s a film perfectly calibrated for the times in which we live, and by far the most disheartening studio-produced movie in recent memory, setting an abysmal example for anyone who goes to school still hoping to learn," he writes.
Debruge argues that the production has taken cues from other titles that aren't deserving of any applause either. "The movie may have been hatched in open defiance of the inspirational-teacher genre, but it’s effectively plagiarizing from a different playbook, already beaten to a pulp by such no-class comedies as School for Scoundrels and Vice Principals.”
Matt Goldberg of Collider gives the comedy a flat out F rating. Making a point of reference to himself that the casting should not suck you into this particular vortex.
"I need to write a note and put it on my computer so I can look at it every day: 'Actors who have been funny in other things will not necessarily be funny together in a different project,'" starts Goldberg.
"I’m sure the people who made Fist Fight had a nice time working with each other, and that’s all well and good. But when you have a cast that also includes Jillian Bell, Kumail Nanjiani, and Christina Hendricks, you have to do better. Everyone in this cast has proven in other films and TV series that they’re funny, charming people who can do a lot when given the right material. Fist Fight gives them nothing."