Writer: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stroller, John Hamburg (Screenplay)
Starring: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Rob Riggle, Romany Malco, Taran Killam, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Al Madrigal, Mary Lynn Rajskub
Plot: A group of high school dropouts are forced to attend night school in hope that they’ll pass the GED exam to finish high school.
Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Just a Stand-Up Comedy Film
Story: Night School starts when high school dropout Teddy (Hart) sees his future go up in smoke right after proposing to his beautiful successful girlfriend Lisa (Echikunwoke) seeing his job vanish and his future employment needing a GED, this forces Teddy to return to high school for a night school.
The former class enemy is now the principal Stewart (Killam) and doesn’t want Teddy in the class, he must prove to the teacher Carrie (Haddish) that he wants to study, while keeping his struggles a secret from Lisa, which sees him becoming friends with the rest of the class to pass.
Thoughts on Night School
Characters – Teddy has been working in sales working off each pay check to look like he has been living a better life, he has a successful beautiful girlfriend, his life changes when he career goes up in smoke and his failure to complete high school is holding him back in searching for a new job. He tries night school, which sees him needing to challenge himself instead of trying to get through quickly. Carrie is a teacher of the night school, she doesn’t take anything from any student, though she is committed to helping people learn. Even if her methods might finally get through to Teddy. Mackenzie and Jaylen are two of the members of the class that are trying to get their education too, with their own stories.
Performances – Kevin Hart does fall back into his normal routine where he tries to throw more of his comedy into a role, rather than showing us a real character, with real problems that should be taken a lot more seriously. Tiffany Haddish continues to show she is great at the fast-taking jokes, but this doesn’t work for the character. The supporting performance are all mostly comedians trying to get their jokes out too.
Story – The story follows a high school dropout that needs to get his GED so he can find a new job to continue living his life of luxury and keep his girlfriend, only this becomes more difficult than he could ever imagine. This is a poorly used story which could address a much bigger issue in education, where the students can suffer with learning disabilities and not get the help needed, it seems to focus on making a joke out of trying to better yourself instead of using the real issues that are meant to be giving these people more of a chance in the future. Even though it might not use this in the final part of the film, it also tries to paint the idea that you could only have a beautiful partner if you are successful. By showing education being a joke for Teddy it doesn’t help anybody that has ever struggled with education before and in the end this does just feel like a stand up routine instead of an actual story.
Comedy – If you want to see fast flowing jokes which feels more like a stand-up routine so if you like that you will get on with this film.
Settings – The film does use the high school settings to show where the learning was coming from and the low paying job that Teddy must take just to make ends meet.
Final Thoughts – This is a comedy that just misses on the fact the story should be taken a lot more seriously, sadly this could have elevated this film to a new level.
Overall: Unfunny comedy.