SPOILER ALERT: This review drops certain actions depicted in the movie. Read at your own discretion. — Foxy
Night School follows Kevin Hart’s character Teddy, fast-talking employee-of-the-month who, after proposing to his girlfriend Lisa, accidentally blows up his job location. Slightly burnt and out of work after the boss skips town with the insurance money, Teddy’s best friend says he can help him get a job at his firm, but that Teddy needs to get his GED. Teddy bites the bullet and decides to take evening classes at his old high school.
And let shenanigans commence.
The movie follows the misadventures of Teddy and his fellow evening-school cohorts in their bid to finish high school and get their GED. The only thing standing in their way — besides themselves — is the school principal and Teddy’s old high school nemesis, Stewart. Tiffany Haddish co-stars as Carrie, the night school teacher in charge of whipping Teddy and the rest into shape so they can graduate.
Although Teddy’s main nemesis is supposed to be his old school rival Stewart, in the end, Teddy’s real nemesis is Teddy. He’s so used to being able to talk and swindle his way out of difficult situations that when he’s faced with one that won’t falter to his charms, he has no choice but to grow up. But as we know, growing up is hard to do, and lucky for Teddy, he has Cassie in his corner.
Night School has its fun and funny moments, and there is comedic chemistry between Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish. At the same time, the most laughs I had came when Teddy was in the midst of machinations with his fellow Night School misfits, whether they’re planning a break-in at Principal Stewart’s office, or enjoying the fruits of their growth and hard work at the prom. The movie’s best strength is in its ensemble of comedic acting folks, coming together and making magic.
Another plus of this movie is the handling of learning disabilities. When accounting for socioeconomic status, people of color often go ignored and undiagnosed when it comes to learning disabilities, so to see it handled in a comedic, yet inoffensive way was a breath of fresh air.
What stops Night School from being more of a solid hit is the pacing and running time of the movie; the movie suffers from having a bit too much filler in order to get the film close to two hours. Certain comedic scenes went on a bit longer than they could have; meanwhile, the film could’ve been reduced to about 90 minutes or so and still pretty much be the same movie. There’s also the appropriation of Black culture and slang when it’s convenient by Principal Stewart, while funny in small doses, gets kind of old kind of fast.
All in all, I would give Night School 3 out of 6 foxes. If you’re a fan of Kevin Hart and Tiffany Haddish, you’ll definitely get your life and money’s worth.
Night School opens on Friday, September 28!
Foxy Jazzabelle is an afrofeminist nerd and opinionated vulpes vulpe who gives commentary, reviews and more from her online foxxhole, FxJB: FoxyJazzabelle.
You can follow her on Twitter at @FoxyJazzabelle.