I did not expect to laugh as much I did. Director Richie Keen usually specializes in made-for-TV comedy (“It’s Always Sunny In Philadelphia”), which means this is his first feature film. Though it has that “TV” feel, I have to admit: “Fist Fight” is likable and funny, even as it covers familiar territory. It earns its R rating with foul language and raunchy gags that might offend some but entertain pretty much everyone else. What’s more, it allows Charlie Day and Ice Cube to show their true colors as first rate comedians. I’ve always been a fan of Day, but Ice Cube won me over for the very first time with just the right balance of seriousness and comic exaggeration. The plot focuses on one school teacher (Day) who gets another teacher (Cube) fired. As a result, he challenges him to a fist fight on the very last day of school. Despite the paper-thin plot, everyone gets a chance to shine, including Tracy Morgan (good to have him back), Jilian Bell, Christina Hendricks and…surprisingly…Dean Norris (Hank Schrader from “Breaking Bad”). I’d call “Fist Fight” a guilty pleasure but I don’t feel guilty at all. I’m not sure how critics will feel about it, but personally, I had a good time watching it.
★★★ Very good