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REVIEW: Fist Fight

March 3, 2017

Director: Richie Keen
Screenplay: Van Robichaux, Evan Susser
Starring: Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Tracy Morgan, Jillian Bell, Christina Hendricks, Kumail Nanjiani
Runtime: 91 Minutes

 

★☆☆☆☆

 

Fist Fight doesn’t work.

 

Its plot doesn’t work. Its characters don’t work. Its structure doesn’t work. Its production doesn’t work. Its comedy doesn’t work. It. Doesn’t. Work.

 

Stranger still, this is made by people who are generally funny. The debut of comedy series director Richie Keen of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia fame (same goes for Charlie Day), and featuring a collection of ordinarily funny actors, instead wastes them on dialogue and comedy that boils down to shouting, mean-spirited narcissism and remorseless deprivation of crude physical standards – and an unwavering understanding of the comedy of Ice Cube’s face being apparently enough to sustain its 91 minute runtime.

 

This isn’t much of a surprise given the tremendous glut of genuinely awful mainstream comedies made by Warner Bros. Pictures over the past decade. Lowest common denominator drivel that seems to operate solely on the foundations of how much fun the cast and crew can have at the expense of the production. They’re comedies that don’t understand the foundations of exactly how visual comedy should be presented on screen, never mind the very quality of how sharp a cut or the position of a frame or camera angle can drive a laugh out of any given situation.

 

It could be forgivable if the screenplay was better, or made the most out of its situation. Not only does it once again resorting to the exhausting trend of improvisation on camera that somehow passes for creative writing, but the film has less of a structure than it does a collection of scenes, repeating the same jokes over and over again, that somehow add to a whole – the whole of which being one of the most phenomenally stupid ideas that at best would fill out a single extended skit.

 

This is the first feature screenplay from writing duo Van Robichaux and Evan Susser, and god help their next production on the apparent Sonic the Hedgehog movie. The internal logic of its world makes little to no sense beyond an incredibly vague commentary being made on the state of the education system, instead focusing on the meat headed qualities of its alpha male characters, their unrealistic lives and expectations even within the chaotic boundaries of this apparently ‘real life’ setting.

 

Worse still, Fist Fight isn’t even worth getting angry about. More than anything else it’s just a tiresome slog to get through with a bad pace, uncreative visuals and stock characters of limited definition, played with restricted range by its performers. It’s just dull.

 

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