Someone needs anger management classes. I’m giving Fist Fight a C+.
High school English teacher, Andy Campbell (played by Charlie Day) is a nice guy. His wife is due to have their second child any day. His daughter is picked on in her middle school so she wants to show up her mean girl in the school talent show. Roosevelt High is cutting teachers and it’s the last day of school before summer vacation. Keeping his job is uppermost in his mind.
All the crazy senior pranks send ordinary teachers over the edge but when strict teacher, Mr. Strickland (played by Ice Cube), uses an ax to make a point, the principal makes a point to fire both teachers unless he learns what really happened. Campbell will do anything to keep his job, even rat out another teacher, setting up an after school fight between Strickland and Campbell.
Roosevelt High is a zoo. The kids rule the school and the principal doesn’t care. A horse on meth, runs the hallway. Porn’s on display in the school award case and the principal is being followed by a Mariachi band. The sports teams always lose. The school counselor has a drug problem and chases after the students and the French teacher (played by Christina Hendricks) is sex on a stick but cray-cray, encouraging Strickland to cut Campbell up bad.
Along the lines of Old School and National Lampoon, Fist Fight relies on raunchy language and crude humor to get the laughs. Most of the good moments involve the pranks and how hapless the teachers are. Produced by Ice Cube, it does have a message about the importance of good teachers and strong funding for schools but the message isn’t beaten into the viewer.
The movie takes place in one day and takes license with the reality of teaching. As a teacher, I don’t have time to run to the bathroom, let alone to the Apple store to buy a Macbook Pro to bribe a student. Fist Fight certainly is not a movie I would spend big bucks on, but rather one to see when it comes to video. I have a feeling it will become a favorite much like the old American Pie movies.
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