Director: Richie Keen
Not having the time to watch a lot of TV, most of it spent at the cinema outside of work, I tend to reserve any TV time for what's hot like Game of Thrones and The Walking Dead; and that's normally via binge watching, desperately trying to catch up before the next series is out. So, I'm not at all familiar with any of Richie Keen's previous work, which is mostly TV Episodes of fairly successful series. Most notably, the highly regarded It's Always Sunny In Philadelphia with 11 of the 153 episodes to his credit. This being his first major feature debut.
He reunites with Sunny Philadelphia star Charlie Day, who plays the grounded, level-headed English literature teacher Mr. Campbell, who's just trying to survive the semester without losing his job to teaching cuts. But due to some unfortunate and unrealistic events, he crosses paths with short-tempered, hot-headed history teacher, Mr. Strickland, played by Ice Cube, and is challenged to an after-school fight.
It's the last day of school so the teenagers are running riot, pranking each other, but mostly the teachers in some unimaginative ways. Films like Toy Soldiers, Ferris Bueller and Scent of a Woman could really teach the kids something here. Whilst the film isn't long and it doesn't drag out like being stuck in eternal detention, the school day does appear far too long with so much happening before the bell rings.
The performances are mediocre, from everyone, but that's not necessarily due to poor acting but probably weak script writing. Some of the comedy is quite wrong breaching more than a few taboo topics and whilst obviously not being a true representation of the American high school system it does bring to light some things that doe actually, unfortunately happen, and makes a mockery of it. I get it, it's a comedy, but it gives the impressive that it's borderline okay to do these things, accepting that it is the norm of American school life.
Charlie Day is probably the only believable character out of the film, like his character has been transplanted from a serious picture into a joke with himself constantly thinking, how did I get here? Ice Cube is menacing, but not enough; and not that I'm trying to take out the original G in him, as he is the real McCoy, he's just not frightful enough. I think the film could have been better with Steve Carell Vs. Dwayne Johnson. That's an after school fight I would like to watch.
It's dotted with a supporting cast consisting of Jillian Bell, the totally inappropriate teacher, Tracy Morgan, the school coach, Christina Hendricks who's most likely the crazy TILF, Dean Norris as the highly strung principle, who looks like a larger James Caan; and Kumail Nanjiani as the school's strict-to-policy, security guard. All try to provide comedy that just misses it's make.
It's quite predictable and unfortunately I didn't laugh at all but I wasn't bored finding it mildly entertaining watching Day increasing get angry, slowly turning into a Michael Douglas from Falling Down; and the climatic ending was actually well made but doesn't make up for the rest of the film. It's crude and lacks any real comedy apart from the bloopers, making me think there was more fun making the film than actually watching it.
Running Time: 6
The Cast: 6
Job Description: 2
The Extra Bonus Point: 0
Would I buy the Blu-ray?: No.