|That finger didn't start these unfortunate events. Shitty writing did.|
"Actions have consequences."And apparently, the actions of Hollywood these days is to remake not only every damn thing, but for my own personal convenience with this review, it's specifically about remaking 80's comedies. Look, I get it, the 1980's was a cool time that came up with so many popular culture references that still stand just as strong today. But sometimes that cool thing should be left to do what it has done best for so long; Which is to stand out on its own. Arthur (2011) had none of the charm that it's original had, Annie (2014) looked so pathetic that I never even attempted to see it, and Ghostbusters (2016) should have never been done the way that it was done. I would rather they only used the premise of those types of films and then went in other directions, instead of trying to capture the same magic. It just doesn't work that way. Occasionally though, some can actually surprise me. Vacation (2015) was at least a sequel/spin off that had the same elements as its influence, but didn't crap on things, metaphorically.
Fist FightAs a film that was obviously influenced by the 1987 comedy Three O'Clock High, Fist Fight doesn't try to fully remake that movie (which is a good thing), but it mishandles the premise by delivering an over-exaggerated story with artificial characters. Without trying to spoil the entire picture, there are only three honest moments in this; A father/daughter moment, two men putting aside their own personal bullshit for something more important, and the gag reel during the end credits. During those bloopers, it is the only time that the actors aren't faking it. They are actually being their truest selves. That would've worked so much better than having Ice Cube (Friday) scowl at the camera (shouldn't his face hurt by by now?) while acting like an irritated rhinoceros, and Charlie Day (Horrible Bosses) playing the same twitchy coward that we always see him do. Although not anywhere near perfect, the original film did an entertaining job of turning the wimpy protagonist into a confident ladies man that learned to face his fears. Fist Fight just uses its protagonist to show us that Day isn't cut out to be a leading man.
Fist Fight is also a major wasted opportunity. At no point during this entire film (besides a couple remarks about shades of coffee) is there any mention about Cube being black and Day being white. Refreshingly, race plays no part in their disagreement, nor does any of the poorly conceived characters use race as a punchline or convenient excuse for anybody's actions. That shift in focus should have been used to make the story funnier instead of more unrealistic. Tracy Morgan (Top Five), Christina Hendricks (Bad Santa 2), and Jillian Bell (22 Jump Street), are so badly written as an ineffective coach, a conclusion jumping teacher, and a crack whore guidance counselor, that a bar joke about them would have earned better applause. Everybody's motivations are shown to make you laugh and grimace at how out of control things have become at their school, yet instead I grimaced at the humor, and laughed at the absurdity of it all. If this director (Richie Keen, It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia) was trying to make some kind of social commentary on today's uninspired youth and the public education system, he went about it the wrong way. Like the many episodes of "Sunny" that he's helmed, Fist Fight has some funny moments, but afterwards you feel incomplete and in need of a thorough cleansing.
The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly, of Fist Fight
The Good- Dean Norris' Principal (Breaking Bad) being over-protective of his Prius, the talent show shocker, finally getting to the actual fist fight, and the bloopers were the funniest part of the movie.
The Bad- THE BLOOPERS WERE THE FUNNIEST PART OF THE ENTIRE GODDAMN MOVIE!!!
The Ugly- If Roger Ebert was still alive today and saw Fist Fight, I guarantee you that his one-star review of Three O'Clock High would have been retracted, and praised for how bad movies from the 80's look great compared to bad movies from the present.
Fist Fight is a fake attempt at real comedy. The jokes are fake, the situations are fake, and the players are like glossy plastic. There's even a scene after the end credits that tries to be funny, and guess where that one goes as well. The extremely few bright spots that are here, aren't anywhere near enough to justify wasting twelve bucks and sitting in a rude person-filled theater for ninety-plus minutes. Stick to the original. The consequences with that one will mean that you'll actually have a good time.
Rating- 1.5 out of 10
Fist Fight (2017)
R | 1h 31min | Comedy | 17 February 2017 (USA)
When one school teacher gets the other fired, he is challenged to an after-school fight.
Director: Richie Keen
Writers: Van Robichaux (screenplay), Evan Susser (screenplay)
Stars: Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan