Blu-ray Review: Fist Fight

By , Contributor
The Fist Fight trailer was hilarious. Ice Cube and Charlie Day as public high school teachers at odds with one another. At the conclusion of the last day of school before summer vacation, the two men will duke it out in the parking lot. Supporting cast includes Tracy Morgan as a P.E. teacher, Christina Hendricks as a drama teacher, Dean Norris (Breaking Bad) as the principal, and Jillian Bell as a terribly inappropriate guidance counselor. It promised to be a satisfying, low-cal comedy.

Now available on Blu-ray from Warner Bros. Home Entertainment, Fist Fight perhaps falls a bit short of the trailer's promise. That said, it's a funny time-passer that doesn't quite wear out its 90 minute running time. Andy (Day) teaches English, Ron (Cube) teaches history. The former is a jittery milquetoast. The latter is fed up with the school's insufficient resources. After Ron has a violent blow up due to outdated A/V equipment malfunctioning, Principal Tyler (Norris) decides to fire Ron. Andy had been helping Ron with the gear when the outburst occurred, so both he and Ron were brought before Principal Tyler. Despite initially agreeing to remain mum, Andy rats Ron out.

The revenge fight proposed by Ron soon spreads throughout the school. Complications ensue, of course, as Andy tries everything he can to avoid the fight. There's a subtle commentary running throughout about the weaknesses of the current U.S. public school system. Every supposed professional at Roosevelt High appears to be incompetent in one way or another. But Fight Fight isn't really motivated by deep thoughts. It's about amping up nice-guy Andy in order to take on the angrier Ron as a school full of rambunctious teens cheers on. It's the 1987 cult comedy classic Three O'Clock High re-imagined with the adults representing the bullies, weaklings, and ne'er-do-wells. 

rsz_fist_fight_charlie_day_ft.jpg For whatever reason, Charlie Day is the primary star—his Andy Campbell is treated to a backstory involving expectant wife (JoAnna Garcia), preteen daughter (Alexa Nisenson), and relationships with other faculty. It would've been nice to know more about Ice Cube's continuously stressed Ron Strickland. It's a Rocky III-like scenario, with Day as the troubled hero Rocky and Cube as the mysteriously Clubber, the "villain" we know very little about. Yes, Ron is fed up with the misbehaving kids, the crappy equipment, etc.—we just never see what his personal life is like in order to better understand and sympathize with him. He's merely Andy's tougher opponent. This imbalance between the two leads is Fist Fight's biggest deficit.

Roosevelt High may still be stuck in the ancient days of VHS, but Warner's A/V presentation is very nice for a modestly budgeted comedy. The soundtrack's many pop tunes pulsate vibrantly from the DTS-HD MA 5.1 surround mix.

Special features are limited to a selection of deleted scenes and a promo from the Georgia Film Commission.

Fist Fight isn't likely to provoke belly laughs, but it's good for 90 minutes of steady chuckles.


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Chaz Lipp writes for The Morton Report.

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