While Fist Fight may not be the strongest movie, or even the punchiest, surprisingly, it does have a certain panache to its performances. It is possibly a first in hopefully a recurring trend to have Charlie Day playing a lead role. Likewise, it is nice to see Joanna Garcia Swisher in a supporting role, (I liked her on the TV show Privileged), nice to see Jillian Bell in anything, (she goes for it big time in the film), nice to see Kunail Nanjiani playing against type from Silicon Valley‘s Dinesh, and surprising to see Dennis Haysbert (as the superintendent), Dean Norris (as the principal) and Christina Hendricks (as a tough teacher that gets in a line regarding a shiv which works better as an outtake). The performance by Ice Cube as tightly wound history teacher Ron Strickland is probably the strongest of the film and he gets in a really funny line early on in the movie (and legitimately looks like he can throw a hefty punch).
This loose remake of Three O’Clock High updates the fighters from students to teachers and possesses a strong message at the end of the film.
The only special features in the package are deleted scenes (most deleted for a reason), and a feature about shooting the film in Georgia, along with a number of other films that take advantage of shooting in that state.
Overall Brief Take
The film feels like a throwback to the kind of carefree eighties films, but updated with a millennial sensibility.