I am notoriously picky when it comes to comedy. A good comedy for me should hit every note just right without veering off into complete stupidity. A recent example is The Brothers Grimsby, which had so much potential in my opinion until they opted for a scene with two men trapped inside an actual elephant while another elephant is copulating with it. Just beyond ridiculous. And that wouldn’t be out of place if the whole movie was ridiculous but it never knew what it wanted to be. I like a straight forward comedy with good actors they keeps me laughing until the end credits. A new comedy out this month, Fist Fight, fit the bill perfectly for me.
Andy Campbell (Charlie Day) is an English teacher at Roosevelt High and is dreading the last day of school for a variety of reasons. First off is that it is prank day when the already unruly students become unbearable. Secondly is that the school will be letting many of the staff go in budget cuts. So when Andy gets involved in an incident with History teacher Ron Strickland (Ice Cube) and inadvertently gets him fired, Strickland challenged Andy to a fight at the end of the day. Now Andy must not only survive the hellish last day of school but must deal with the upcoming fight, save his job and show up for a talent show at his daughter’s school. And it isn’t going to be easy.
Fist Fight is just plain fun. Day is hilarious as the good guy teacher who just can’t get a break and who keeps making every wrong decision possible, Ice Cube is awesome as the tough teacher with a reputation for being a badass, and the supporting cast including Jillian Bell, Tracy Morgan, Dean Norris, Christina Hendricks and Kumail Nanjiani all steal their respective scenes. As Day’s situation gets worse and worse the tone of his voice gets higher and higher and it is just priceless to watch him deal with the mounting tension. And best of all Fist Fight never veers from what it tries to be. There are some great jokes about edgy subjects but it all stays in context and never crossed the line into moronic humor. Fist Fight is just a flat out funny situational comedy. Highly recommended.