Not Even Ice Cube Can Save “Fist Fight”

DETROIT (WWJ) – Unfortunately, “Fist Fight turns out to be a big disappointment. I say unfortunately because as an Ice Cube fan, this is a movie I really wanted to enjoy. Even though the trailer didn’t grab me and make me want to rush out to see the film, I still went to see it with an open mind. After all, with Ice Cube as the star attraction, I just knew I was in for a pleasant surprise. But, I was wrong; big time.

Instead of giving viewers reasons to like this movie and root for Ice Cube’s character, history teacher Ron Strickland, it does the complete opposite. First, Strickland doesn’t give viewers any reason to like him at all. He’s mean just to be mean. And he’s mean to everyone: students, fellow teachers and administrators. He doesn’t have one friend in the entire building; not one. Everyone’s too afraid of him to even try and get close. And the movie never gets to the root of his anger. If that were explored a bit, perhaps viewers would feel sorry for him and give them a reason to cheer him on.

Then there’s Holly, the guidance counselor, portrayed by Jillian Bell. Holly is a ditz, and there’s nothing wrong with that because a character like that can make for some very funny scenes. But, Holly pushes the envelope way too far. With so many news stories about teachers who sexually assault their students and end up behind bars, that’s one of the main things Holly has on her mind: having sex with one particular student that she has her eye on. She’s also a drug user and she doesn’t even try to hide any of her unlawful obsessions! In fact, she’s very upfront about them.

(L-R) TRACY MORGAN as Coach Crawford, JILLIAN BELL as Holly and CHARLIE DAY as Andy Campbell in the New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures comedy "FIST FIGHT," a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

(L-R) TRACY MORGAN as Coach Crawford, JILLIAN BELL as Holly and CHARLIE DAY as Andy Campbell in the New Line Cinema and Village Roadshow Pictures comedy “FIST FIGHT,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.

Now, if there were another character in the movie – perhaps a teacher – who tried to get Holly to change her ways, that would be a bit more relatable. But, everyone just looks the other way.

The other character, who’s only seemingly normal compared to the others, is English teacher Andy Campbell portrayed by Charlie Day. He’s the main target of Strickland’s anger. Campbell and Strickland share numerous scenes together and their relationship develops over the course of the movie, which is something that can go on the plus side, but it’s just not enough to make this movie one worth spending your hard-earned money on. Unless all you want to see is a fist fight.

Also starring in “Fist Fight” is Tracy Morgan, Christina Hendricks and Dennis Haysbert, among a number of others. It’s rated R for good reason.

See you at the movies!

Be sure to tune in to WWJ Newsradio 950 every Friday for my weekly look at the movies with Midday Anchor Jackie Paige.

Follow Terri on Twitter @TerriJLee

Member:
Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA)
Detroit Film Critics Society (DFCS)
African American Film Critics Association (AAFCA)
Digital Arts, Film & Television (DAFT)
National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ)

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