In an age when movies with the worst premises get made, Fist Fight comes along to one-up the trend. In this ridiculous comedy, Charlie Day and Ice Cube decide to have a fist fight as teachers. It’s almost impressive that a concept like this was even taken from the drawing room and that’s why I had a great time. It’s a calamity waiting to happen. A disaster that can’t be stopped. It’s almost magical in the way that it just doesn’t care what happens in the order set up some lackadaisical punch lines.
The laughs are definitely an acquired taste in this movie. It starts from the beginning where most of the jokes seem to be upscale It’s Always Sunny jokes or just Ice Cube snarling. These two elements combined with the deadpan humor of Kumail Nanjani along with the hilarious Tracy Morgan and Jillian Bell make this movie great. Although, if this humor style isn’t for you, it might be an hour and a half beating.
My favorite part of this movie is the surprising chemistry between Ice Cube and Charlie Day. They’re an unlikely pairing that somehow works on so many levels. Their two different humor styles somehow match in a surprising way. I did not expect it in any way walking in, but their combination of physical and over-the-top humor mesh perfectly together. The chemistry with the other actors works out too. The presence that Ice Cube has as the teacher who really controls the school runs over the other faculty members in hilarious ways. Watching Tracy Morgan get frightened when he sees Ice Cube is so great on so many levels. It was honestly just great to see Tracy on screen again after his accident.
If you’re looking for a story in this film, go see something else. It has absolutely no substance and doesn’t try to. It’s almost like the movie was made based on a ridiculous idea and to make the jokes better, it was almost improvised in certain scenes. There’s a charm to really not caring about one whole part of your movie that is your story. The introduced plotlines become more and flatter as the film carries on as it becomes more and more apparent that the film can’t justify anything that happens in the first act yet alone the second or third. The premise is ridiculous and that’s what the movie uses to justify the awful story.
Overall, I’m not surprised by this movie. In an era where comedy movies don’t care, this does push the limit on what becomes acceptable. Are skits that connect to make a full feature length worth seeing? Is comedy just a better medium for television? I think these are serious questions that need to be addressed in the coming years. With the ratio of Edgar Wright movies to garbage dumpster fires like this one, it seems the medium needs serious help for both the future and the present. Comedy has somehow turned into a genre that is best paired with something else. It’s a little disheartening that movies like this will probably destroy movies like The Nice Guys in the box office.