Date Released: 17th February 2017
Date Seen: 3rd November 2017
When a film is pitched to a studio, it is normally done with something called a “Treatment” where the main points of the storyline are laid out in order to give executives an idea of just what they are going to invest in. Sometimes that treatment is several pages long, sometimes it’s just one page. I’m convinced the treatment for this film was “Charlie from It’s Always Sunny and Captain Dixon get in a fight” and that was literally it.
The story is exactly as I described, Ice Cube’s character challenges Charlie Day’s character to a fist fight after the last day of school where Ice Cube’s character got fired. It’s basic as hell but there is something work from that a good comedy could build on and expand, show how Charlie’s character is going to get out of it or how it affects him and this film does do that… badly. It’s shockingly uninteresting and the jokes have a tendency to fail more than they hit.
Some jokes do genuinely work, like Christina Hendrick’s character who just want’s to see Charlie’s character murdered because she believe’s he’s a pedophile or the epic final fight scene itself… but a lot of jokes just do not work, like the guidance counsellor who does drugs and want’s to fuck a student. She literally says she want’s ‘Teenage dick’ and this movie just isn’t dark enough to make that kind of joke work.
I’m honestly not sure if the film is going be an edgy comedy or pure farce because it goes back and forth and you can never really follow what’s going on. The opening few scenes do feel like an extreme comedy set on a prank day… and then there’s a meth-addicted horse and suddenly we’re in Scary Movie territory. Then we’re hiding drugs in bags and it’s just a dark comedy again. Either choose one and stick with it OR blend them both so it feels cohesive, not this half-assed version.
There were quite a lot of scenes where the suspension of disbelief goes out the window. I refuse point blank to believe that a teacher who swings a fire axe into a table where a student is sitting is allowed to hang around for the rest of the day, that teacher would be arrested in no time flat. That’s the inciting incident of this movie and it’s so stupid and out of left field that I’m unable to buy into what this movie is trying to sell me. Oh and speaking of selling, hope you’re all prepared for some of the worst product placement that’ll be provided by Apple because this film has that. Also it want’s me to believe that a teacher at a failing school could just run out at a moments notice and buy 2 MacBook Pros and sorry, considering this school is too cheap to upgrade from a VHS player, I’m going to take a wild guess that it wouldn’t pay it’s teacher’s enough that they could drop several grand on multiple MacBook Pros.
The shame of this is that the actors all give good performances, even if I don’t like their character (the counsellor I mentioned is by far the worst one) I believed the actors were giving their all and really trying to make something fun but they’re let down by an incoherent script that can’t decide on a tone or come up with a good joke for a large amount of the movie. It’s not awful, it’s just disappointing because the potential is there and it’s never achieved