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Review: Night School

Night School
7 10

 

PLOT: After losing his sales job, a guy who has grifted his way through life must take a night course to earn his GED.

REVIEW: In the acclaimed 2017 comedy GIRLS TRIP, director Malcolm D. Lee gave Tiffany Haddish a chance to shine. And with their latest collaboration - while perhaps not quite as fresh as the last round - they once again offer up a surprisingly charming and funny feature. NIGHT SCHOOL, starring Kevin Hart and Haddish, tells the story of a group of problematic students who struggle to get their GED. While the new film is not likely to be a huge critical hit - even though there was a whole lot of laughter at the press screening I was at - it is something that will certainly appeal to Hart fans. However, it is even more proof that Haddish has impeccable comedic timing. While I appreciated many of the supporting players, the movie works every time she’s on screen.

Kevin Hart is Teddy Walker, a high school drop out, who also happens to be a great salesman. He has a job he’s great at and a successful girlfriend named Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke) who just accepted his marriage proposal. However, after an accident leaves his work place in ashes, he is offered a position at his friends investment firm. The only caveat, he must be a high school graduate, or get his GED. Once he decides to do it, he registers for night school. Hoping to sell himself and pass without putting in the work, he gets way more than he bargained for with his tough as nails teacher, Carrie (Haddish). Things get even more complicated due to the fact that the principle at the school (Taran Killam) was one of Teddy’s high school rivals.

night school kevin hart tiffany haddish malcolm d lee comedy 2018 taran killam

When it comes to Kevin Hart, it’s very likely you know what kind of outrageous and over-the-top comedy you are going to get. Love him or hate him, the fast talking comedic actor gives the audience what he’s known for. Although you do have to question how Teddy could have ever landed somebody as smart, successful and stunningly beautiful as Lisa. Yet even if you don’t buy their relationship, that’s not the on-screen pairing that needs to work to make this comedy successful. No, that would be what Hart and Haddish bring to class.

Ever since her performance in GIRLS TRIP, Tiffany Haddish has become one of the most exciting names in comedy. And yes, she makes this movie work. The actress is terrific as a teacher who has to work far too much, yet still cares about her students. She is funny, feisty and fierce. While the movie mostly plays for laughs, the actress even brings a bit of truth to the humor when you see her working with a young teen with disabilities. That said, she is at her best when she is making Kevin Hart’s life hell with a few unusual teaching techniques - the MMA portion of this flick is pretty damn hilarious.

night school kevin hart tiffany haddish taran killam comedy 2018 malcolm d lee

As far as originality is concerned, you aren’t going to find much of that here really. Even still, they are clearly having fun with with whole tough teacher/bad student troupes that you may not mind a bit of familiarity. Even when it comes to Teddy’s fellow students, played by Rob Riggle, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Anne Winters, Romany Malco, Jacob Batalon and Al Madrigal, you have a solid comedic cast that is in on the joke. While the film doesn’t out right spoof flicks like DANGEROUS MINDS or STAND AND DELIVER, it certainly plays with the genre is a satisfying way. I did however appreciate the relevance of the LEAN ON ME movie poster behind Stewart’s desk.

NIGHT SCHOOL is a mostly engaging PG-13 comedy. If you enjoy Kevin Hart’s bombastic style of humor, you will most likely appreciate his performance here. However, it is Tiffany Haddish that manages to make this work as well as it does. She is terrific as an overworked teacher who tries to get her students to care about their future. Similarly to many modern comedies, the humor isn’t always consistent, and it loses a bit of steam at times. Thankfully there is enough here to truly entertain, especially with the right audience. This isn’t going to change your life in any way, but frankly, this Hart and Haddish pairing is more than a bit of movie-going fun.

Source: JoBlo.com

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