I usually refrain from talking about movies like this, but this one just shows what crap studios dare to present in theatres.
This is the most confusing mess that I have ever seen, and it isn’t because this is some arthouse film. A film like this is usually simple. But through sheer laziness and incompetence has a movie been made that makes you wonder what the hell you are watching. And I have narrowed down what the problem is. And foremost it is that the jokes are so incredibly unfunny that I didn’t recognize them as actual jokes at first. So while the movie was trying to explain what it was about, its jokes undermined the cohesion of the story so much that I just ended up confused.
You see, what a movie usually does, is that shows what the story is about at the start of the film. That is a basic element of storytelling. The premise here is that Charlie Day plays a cowardly teacher at a high school, and he raises the ire of another teacher, played by Ice Cube, who challenges him to a fist fight. And this premise is for some unknown reason set against the backdrop of the end of the school year, which turns the school into a pit of hell because the students do all sorts of pranks on the teachers.
Like Dante’s bloody Divine Comedy, there are layers of incompetence inside this movie. First there is the story of this high school where the students do shitty pranks all the time. The only function for this in the story that I could come up with is that it causes the conflict between Ice Cube and Day, but the whole idea of this school out of control is so unrealistic that it just throws you out of the story. It’s also supposed to be a source of practical jokes for the film, but none of those are funny. It’s just the same cheap raunchy jokes that we have seen a thousand times before. The pranks are not funny and neither are the reactions of the teachers.
And that brings me to the third problem: the characters of the teachers are awful and so are the actors. There are teachers walking around that are caricatures who just say shocking things out of the blue. Jillian Bell is there to throw out random sexual lines, Charlie Day is yelling all the time like a panicking cockroach, and Ice Cube is just angry because he is angry.
So, we have a film in which just about everything is awful: the story, the humor, the writing and the acting. And it is all stacked on top of each other like a jenga tower, and in every scene the tower crashes down. And I don’t know what is worse, whether this was supposed to be a genuinely funny movie, or whether the writers were so out of inspiration that they just threw every cheap thing on the screen in the hope that something would raise a laugh.
This is not a movie. This is a collection of vaguely related scenes that one by one fail to deliver.