Fist Fight: a Nice Hit or a Slap in the Face

Fist Fight is a modern comedy featuring It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia star Charlie Day and rapper/actor Ice Cube.  Fist Fight answers the age-old question of instead students laying down on the playground what if your teachers decided to settle their beef out there instead? The stakes this time go beyond having your lunch money stolen as Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is put in the position of selling out Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) in attempts to save his own job. The rest of the movie plays out like that one episode of SpongeBob as Ice Cube spends the rest of the movie acting like “flats” the bully who attempts to kick SpongeBob’s butt as SpongeBob acts frantically trying to avoid the confrontation. Charlie Day does a good job of playing well Charlie Day in a way that this movie feels like a bizarre B-Plot for Always Sunny, were Charlie Kelly gets a job as a teacher and after struggling to fit in with the teachers and receiving abuse from his students ends up quitting by the episode end. Instead, the premise is drawn out for an hour and a half out hi-jinks.

Fist Fight is a very hyperbolic movie so drop any sense of this would never happen in real life mentality and just understanding it as a vehicle to tell jokes. I think Fist Fight has a good sense of humor and pulls some nice running gags and set-ups. One such is since it is the last day of high school all the seniors are pulling multiple “senior pranks” on the school. While the film’s universe is to not be taken too seriously it is hilarious how accurate some of these end up being (I’ve actually had someone do the remote to control projector volume in one of my classes, a senior prank were someone spray painted a penis on the football field, and even one where a few people drank Sprite and ate bananas to induce themselves to vomit in a false belief that if enough people did it they would have to end the school day) while some are over the top it’s hilarious at how not far from reality they really are. The film with the absurd simple premise actually does attempt to present a message on the school system. I can see how the message can come across as preachy and misplaced in your Charlie Day gets punched by Ice Cube Movie but I do think it handles itself that it adds value to the story being told without detracting to much from the humor or story. The film tries to make commentary on how superintendents devalues teachers and resourcing them as well as how students can be seen as lacking discipline and how pranks can sometimes go overboard. The cinematography is bland but this lighting is a nice touch, It’s use of shadows to make Ice Cube appear menacingly helps portray the fear others feel in his presence.

Fist Fight is not great by any means but I think it’s enjoyable, not a gut busting comedy but has a good laugh here and there. It’s certainly for the young teen demographic but enough that I think everyone can get a laugh out of it. The film has good payoffs in the closing half of the film. If you’re looking for a goofy comedy over the weekend then feel free to check out Fist Fight at your local Red-box.


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