Fist Fight is furious fun

More fun than amusing, and marred by endless f-bombs, Fist Fight still emanates enough good will to capture its fan base of Cube and "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" followers. Wellness offers an unclear concept and has advertised using the controversial notion of "fake news" in a way that seems to be backfiring, while The Great Wall may have ubiquitous trailers, but appears to be leaning on stale "white savior" tropes with Matt Damon coming to the rescue of China. When I heard of Fist Fight I was a little hesitant but chose to give it a shot.

When Andy rats out Strickland for the ax episode, Ice Cube's character informs him that "snitches get stitches", and the stage is set for a beatdown delivered in front of a howling mob of students and faculty. She does drugs before school and lusts after the students, lamenting that when teachers are caught having affairs with kids, "the news always leaves out the good part: They never tell how the teacher does the seduction".

Campbell works at Roosevelt High School, where dyspeptic principal Tyler (Dean Norris) has to fire 30 teachers during Senior Prank Day. "Then I had a team around me, Cube was like a brother to me so they really encouraged me and relaxed me and I just had fun after that".

Cube's Strickland actually has a moral compass and something to say about brain-dead students coasting through classes that do nothing for them. Andy squeals. Ron scowls. The comedic climax involves the lazy device of a young child uttering a bunch of swear words (nearly exactly the same bit that was used in the recent Robert De Niro comedy misfire The Comedian). Once you get past the premise, there's not a lot farther to go.

The movie is a remake of a forgotten 1980s teen comedy that was released before reports of school violence filled our news feeds. It won't satisfy everyone, but this wouldn't be a worthwhile R-rated comedy if it didn't take some risks.

That is, apart from invaluable wild cards like Tracy Morgan (as a gym teacher) and Jillian Bell (as a sex-crazed guidance counselor), who do their best to subvert their scenes with deadpan non-sequiturs. Ice Cube isn't as comedically gifted, but he certainly has his moments. It was amusing, and I think anyone who doesn't mind a bit of blue-collar humor will enjoy it. If you're still on the fence about heading to the theaters to see Fist Fight, here are some of the early reviews to help inform your decision. No one expects a comedy called Fist Fight to have trenchant insights on human relations, but there's a base level of characterization that would be nice to have, considering.

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