"You tell me you loved 'We Be Clubbin'' right now, son!" Ron Strickland (Ice Cube) gets up in the face of his newfound adversary and fellow teacher Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) in a scene from FIST FIGHT. Credit: Bob Mahoney © 2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Village Roadshow Films North America, Inc. and Ratpac-Dune Entertainment LLC. All rights reserved.


KEY CAST MEMBERS: Charlie Day, Ice Cube, Jillian Bell, Kumail Nanjiani, Tracy Morgan, Christian Hendricks, Dennis Haysbert, JoAnna Garcia Swisher, Charlie and Max Carver, Alexa Nisenson, Austin Zajur and Dean Norris 

WRITER(S): Van Robichaux & Evan Susser; story by Van Robichaux, Evan Susser and Max Greenfield. 

DIRECTOR(S): Richie Keen


HERE'S THE STORY: Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is a mild-mannered high school English teacher. So when he shows up for the last day of school and his students are full of pranks, needless to say he's a bit less than prepared to deal with all the chaos. After all, he's got enough going on since he's got a pregnant wife (JoAnna Garcia Swisher) at home and their daughter Ally (Alexa Nisenson) is anxiously prepping for her school's talent show that day.

While most of his co-workers like security guard Mehar (Kumail Nanjiani), Coach Crawford (Tracy Morgan), French teacher Ms. Monet (Christina Hendricks) and really-in-need-of-some-guidance-herself guidance counselor Holly (Jillian Bell) seem to be handling the kids ok, there is one teacher who isn't letting any students run wild: Ron Strickland (Ice Cube), a man of whom legendary tales are told. So, when he has an incident in his classroom in Campbell's presence, Strickland is certain his colleague is going to honor "the code" and not snitch on what he did.

But once Principal Tyler (Dean Norris) lets them both know that one of them is going to be let go, Campbell makes his choice – resulting in the challenge of a fist fight from Strickland at 3 p.m. after school.

Realizing his proverbial goose is cooked, Campbell tries to come up with plan after plan to figure out a way to get out it. But if there's one thing that becomes more apparent throughout the day, it's that there Campbell is going to have to face his destiny – or die trying to get out of it.

WHO WILL LIKE THIS FILM THE MOST? Ice Cube fans; Tracy Morgan fans; Charlie Day fans; people who love watching children and adults behave inappropriately for well-intentioned but misguided reasons; any educator who's wanted to fly off the handle on their students and/or their administrators; people who like comedies that have redeeming qualities

WHO WON'T (OR SHOULDN'T) LIKE THIS MOVIE? Victims of bullying still dealing with the aftermath years later; those who find the premise implausible; people who don't like watching children, let alone adults, behave badly

SO, IS IT GOOD, BAD OR ABSOLUTELY AWFUL? While you can't help but help but feel there are moments where the film could have gone for a bigger joke or has some that drag a bit unnecessarily, Fist Fight delivers enough knockout entertainment to satisfy comedy fans of all ages.

Cube is essentially comfortable in his default mode of administrating aggression towards, in this case, a well-intentioned but easy pushover of a man in the form of Charlie Day's Campbell, a man you understand and sympathize with ... But at the same time, kind of want to see get his ass kicked. This dichotomy makes for a great dynamic between the two, Cube serving as tormentor yet man of principle and Day as wimpy everyman just trying to (literally) survive. 

The film wouldn't work as well as does, however, without Bell and Morgan pushing the envelope as Campbell's fight team, trying to help him prepare for the fight and/or get out of it with some very unsound advice. Flipping the sarcastic comedic devastation she displayed in 22 Jump Street, Bell creates a guidance counselor that clearly shouldn't be working at a school to tremendous comedic effect while Morgan ... Just does Morgan but in a less lunatic fashion than his 30 Rock days without losing his trademark flavor. It's a 1-2 punch (no pun intended), all of which adds to the film's comedic palette as Day's character progresses through the story.

Other than that, all you need to know is Fist Fight delivers big laughs in big spots, despite a fairly simple premise that plays out like a much more comedic of the undervalued 1987 cult classic Three O'Clock High (which some might consider heavily influenced by the 1980 non-Kevin Costner/Whitney Houston movie My Bodyguard), save for this film having his antagonist be less of a sociopath. While some of the secondary characters are misused/wasted – Hendricks is basically wasted as the knife-wielding Ms. Monet and Norris doesn't have enough screen time – if you liked what you saw in the film's red-band trailer, you'll enjoy the full release as it delivers and expands upon it. 

If nothing else, you'll never listen to Big Sean the same way again. Fist Fight guarantees that for certain.



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