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Blu-ray Review: Fist Fight

May 30, 2017

By John Corrado

★★½ (out of 4)

It’s the last day of classes at an underfunded American high school, and tensions are on the rise amongst the teachers, with the students pulling increasingly extreme pranks, and the board threatening imminent downsizing across all departments.

But when mild mannered English teacher Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) accidentally causes tough as nails history teacher Strickland (Ice Cube) to lose his job, Strickland challenges him to a fist fight after school.  The news of the #TeacherFight spreads like wildfire on social media, as Andy goes to extreme heights in his attempts to avoid the beating, while also learning how to stand up for himself.

This is the basic plot behind Fist Fight, a quick moving and surprisingly pretty entertaining comedy, that makes the most of a relatively brief running time as at it builds concisely and efficiently towards the climactic brawl that is hinted at in the title.  Not to oversell it, but it’s helped by the fact that it follows a streamlined and fairly engaging narrative that provides a clear character progression from beginning to end, with nary a wasted scene and many gags that build upon themselves and work in favour of the larger story.

The film is also enlivened by its fine comic cast, including solid leading turns from Charlie Day and Ice Cube, as well as amusing supporting roles for Jillian Bell as a messed up guidance counsellor, Tracy Morgan as a football coach and Kumail Nanjiani as a security guard.  For a raunchy and off the wall comedy that becomes a weirdly timely look at the need for better funding in public schools, Fist Fight is a pretty enjoyable diversion that has enough laughs to make it mildly worth seeing.

The Blu-ray also includes deleted scenes as well as a featurette on filming in Atlanta, Georgia.

Fist Fight is a Warner Bros. Home Entertainment release.  It’s 91 minutes and rated 14A.

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