When I first walked into “Fist Fight,” I expected a hilarious comedy with one of my favorite actors, Charlie Day, to bring me non-stop laughs. His character in the hit show “It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia” has cemented him as one of the funniest comedians alive. So it came as a huge surprise when, after I finished “Fist Fight,” I found myself extremely disappointed. The film means well, as it does have some heart, but ultimately it is a cliché, unfunny and horribly-written mess.
The film, although a mess, has a plethora of likeable and relatable characters, Day and Ice Cube being the standouts. They each play teachers who, on the last day of the school year, must survive outrageous pranks which are being orchestrated by the last-day seniors.
After Day snitches on Ice Cube about going too overboard with a punishment, Ice Cube challenges him to a fight. Some would think that a film with a plotline like this would not be entertaining, and those people would be correct. The characters do have some humanity to them, and I’m really glad they gave Day’s character a likeable arc, but it is just so cliché. It is basically the same as every other comedic lead ever.
The entire film is basically a set up to the final fight. Comedic moments are just that: moments. They do not have any long-lasting effect on the story, so it is really hard for any of them to stand out.
The final fight itself feels unearned. All of the unfunny set up took center stage throughout, and this caused the fight to be unwanted and just plain bad. Trailers for the film compared the fight to some of the greatest rivalries of history, (i.e. Ali vs. Frazier, 2Pac vs. Biggie, Batman vs. Superman). There is absolutely no way that this fight compares to any of those rivalries. Unlike those, this will literally be forgotten within a couple of weeks, if not days.
While watching the film, I also noticed a huge problem with camera angles. There would be shots of characters, and instead of focusing on them, their bodies and heads would be cut off at a certain point on the screen. This causes an audience to be confused about exactly where to focus with a character. We literally do not know where to look on the screen. It is a mistake one could make in film school, but seeing it in a feature-length film is unacceptable.
“Fist Fight” is a film that should be avoided in theaters. It is not worth the price of admission, as one would walk away from it disappointed. It’s a film that should only be seen on cable television. There are a ton of other films coming out that will probably be much better than this one.
Yes, it has likable characters, and it has some heart to it, but within it, the negatives heavily outweigh the positives.