On DVD & Blu-Ray: May 30, 2017

Going in with low to optimistic expectations there was no great weight on the shoulders of Fist Fight. It's February and Fist Fight is a comedy starring Ice Cube and what you get from Charlie Day in between seasons of It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia-which is more or less the same Charlie Day, but likely a little less energetic and manic due to his more lax schedule. There was no reason to believe Fist Fight would be a memorable comedic experience and it isn't, but it isn't the cheap altogether crap fest it very well could have turned out to be either. Rather, Fist Fight is a comedy that understands its premise is outlandish and unrealistic from the get-go and thus never takes itself seriously as a representation of the public school system (though some aspects could certainly be interpreted as exaggerated issues) and thus ramps up the ridiculous with every scene-testing the limits of how far the individual audience member is willing to go with them. It would be easy to drop off of the ride at any point along the way, but Ice Cube and Day offer a funny and different enough dynamic that the two parallel arcs are interesting enough to watch develop and culminate for the scant ninety minute running time. Sure, the premise is slim and one can feel the ride straining itself a bit as it nears the inevitable third act, but with a one-two punch of climactic scenes that includes both an elementary school talent show as well as the titular fight (which more than delivers on its promise) there is plenty to be pleased with once the credits begin to roll and the bloopers begin to play. Of course, Fist Fight isn't the pinnacle of comedic filmmaking and it certainly isn't what Thomas Edison had in mind when he imagined what his motion picture camera might one day be able to achieve, but as far as comic relief it is exactly that-it serves the purpose it was intended for squarely. We know what Ice Cube excels at and we know what we're getting when Charlie Day pops up on screen and the best thing to be said for Fist Fight is that it plays up those two personas until it forces them to collide and while that may indicate there is nothing new to be found in either the story or the performances it does mean it features two charismatic and admittedly funny people doing what they do best-what's wrong with that? Not a whole lot in my humble opinion. Video review here. Full review here. C+

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