There might be a decent short film in here, as the entire plot of Fist Fight is laid out in the first 15 minutes: It’s the last day of school at a high school, where the senior pranks have gone amok and general chaos rules as the teachers try to keep it together. The whitest white guy teacher Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) has a misunderstanding with Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube), and is challenged to meet Strickland in the parking lot after school for an old fashioned fist fight. Thing is, white guy doesn’t fight, and Strickland is terrifying, having just smashed a student’s desk to splinters with an ax in front of everyone.
There is really not much else to say, as this relatively simple plot is dragged out for 90 minutes. It drags, like a teacher being dragged behind a horse through the hallways by a rope (this happens). At one point, it almost seems like numerous f-bombs are inserted into the script just to expand the length of the movie. And if you can stand the hysteric, shrill comic stylings of Charlie Day turned up to 11 for the length of an entire film where he is the lead, well then you are in for a treat. Otherwise I suggest turning your hearing aid down and closing the windows because dogs will start barking.
There are a few saving graces here. Ice Cube is always fun to watch, and the idea of him being a terrifying teacher is kind of a great one (the idea, that is, not the execution). Jillian Bell gets one or two laughs as the inappropriate leering druggie teacher, and the always watchable Kumail Nanjiani gets his moment as the campus security guard. But that’s it. Christina Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, Tracy Morgan… all these talented people are completely wasted. There might be a funny movie in there under someone else’s direction, but this ain’t it.
The only extras are a promotional bit about how great it is to film in Georgia, plus a bunch of deleted scenes… To think this film could have been longer!