Night School

**In this post, I discuss thoughts about the movie Night School. There are spoilers for this movie in this post.**

In this movie, Teddy Walker is a high school dropout and a successful barbeque grill salesman, living a paycheck to paycheck to maintain i high class lifesytle and impress his girlfriend.  Things are going great for him, until he accidentally blows up his place of employment while proposing to his fiancée.  Jobless, Teddy can get a job in an accounting firm his friend works at, if he gets his GED.  So Teddy reluctantly takes a night school class at his former high school, where his former high school nemesis is the principal and taught by an overworked teacher who doesn’t think that he is bright or will take the class seriously. He is doing this while hiding the truth from his fiancée with the fear that she will leave him.

I did have a few laughs in the movie, but that was about it.  There were many problems with this movie.  Teddy’s friend Marvin says he could work at his financial investment firm.  I found this to be unbelievable goal.  I checked on various job websites to see how accurate that was.   Most financial investment firms do need a high school diploma but also require experience and some requiring a college bachelor degree or higher.  Marvin even brushes Teddy’s concerns off saying that they don’t need know much about financing, nobody does here.  If I heard that as a client, I know that I wouldn’t invest my money in that company.  Unless I’m over thinking, and all Teddy meant was a job like an administrative assistant.  I can’t see a firm hiring someone fresh off of getting his GED with no experience in finance.

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This was not one of Kevin Hart’s better comedy roles.  I also found it odd that he played his high school self in the flashbacks,  as it look like a guy in his Mid to Late 30’s playing a teenager

I didn’t find the character of Teddy interesting.  I get that he was supposed to be a fast talking down on his luck street smart character with a learning disorder, and it came off as every other character Kevin Hart portrayed in his past films.  In this type of film, you would expect the main character to be hiding his secret from his fiancée and show scenes of him hiding this fact from her.  There was only one or two moments that seemed to happen.  His interactions with other characters were typical action/reaction moments.  The Principal of the school was a nerd that Terry bullied while they were in high school.  The Principal, named Stewart, had the same back and forth with Terry that I would expect.  They only seemed to have them come together and reveal the truth when Stewart got a hold of Lisa to renovate the school and somehow come to the prom the high school was having despite the night class not being invited to the prom (was this a missed plot hole by the writers) and Lisa never telling Teddy this.  When Lisa saw Terry was lying to her the whole time and left, I didn’t feel any sympathy for Terry and wondered, do Terry and Lisa talk about their days?  How could that have been overlooked by the writers and as a character trait that Teddy doesn’t know or hear that she would renovate and visit a school that he is going to?

One of the overall problems I thought was that Kevin Hart had no one to bounce back against.  In Ride Along, he had Ice Cube to be a counter or when he was with Dwyane The Rock Johnson in Central Intellegence and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.  Had Tiffany Hiddish been in this movie more, this wouldn’t have had this problem.

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I was really looking forward to more of Tiffany Haddish in this movie. But we really didn’t get as much as we should have.

Tiffany Haddish might have been in the movie, but here presence was missing.  I didn’t feel like she was in the movie as much as she was advertised to be in this film.  Which was a shame, because the brief time her and Kevin Hart were together had given me hope for a fair movie.  But I got nothing more than what I saw in trailers.  Instead, we got more of her night class than we did of her.  Which was a shame because the movie focused on them instead of other characters that could have been more interesting.  These characters could have had potential, but just didn’t do anything besides being bland archetypes.  Mackenzie was the generic idiot, Theresa was the generic under appreciated mom, Mila, the generic wealthy girl drop out, and Jaylen, the generic dock worker who lost his job to technology.  It’s strange because he cried hysterically about technology taking over and we see him using a tablet later in the movie with no problem and no explanation what so ever.  The only characters that I somewhat liked were Luis, a waiter that Teddy got fired from his restaurant while trying to get out of paying for an expensive meal, was trying to become a hygienist (which he constantly mispronounced). and Bobby, a prisoner in a Maximum security prison getting his GED via Skype or video chat from jail.  They had a few scenes that I liked, particularly Bobby, when fighting of a prison murder attempt on his life while his classmates watch.

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Rob Riggle played Makenzie, one of Teddy’s classmates.  They did a joke about calling him big mac and his son Little Mac and never went into that again.  I felt that was a waste of a joke as they only reference his son once and didn’t even do a Punch Out joke for his son.

A lot of characters seemed to come and go in the movie.  Teddy had a sister that was only seen in the beginning and the end of the movie.  I didn’t see the point of her in the movie and could have been left out.  Lisa, Teddy’s finance, had a friend named Maya, who again, didn’t seem to have any point to be in the movie but to apparently be a thorn in Teddy’s side which I didn’t see or get at all.  Marvin seemed to disappear for a good length of the movie and then return close to the end.  There wasn’t much interaction with Terry’s family despite them being in the opening of the movie.  It made them seem important, but we don’t see them again until the end of the movie.  The film even had an underutilized Keith David as the harsh father of Teddy, Gerald.  The film suffered from having too many characters and not utilizing anyone properly or multiple characters that should have been left out.

A lot of this movie was mostly dialogue and jokes that seemed to go on for a while without any end or funny resolution.  This movie should have been 20 minutes shorter if a lot of the dialogue was cut.  There were some throw away jokes that happened or over exaggerated joke’s that we’re off its mark.  To get some income, Teddy takes up a job at a fast food place that seemed to parody Chick fil A, I guess called Christian Chicken?  There were a lot of Theresa sexual jokes that were eye rolling bad for me.  There was a lot of overextended scenes such as the introduction of all of Teddy’s classmates and the part where they try to steal the practice test.  There also really wasn’t much of night school classes as I thought there would be in the film called Night School.

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The sequence of the class trying to steal the practice test went on much longer than it should have.

What is really disappointing is that this movie had six writers attached to this, including Kevin Hart.  Six writers and no one seemed to reread the final script movie for plot holes or error.  How come no one looked into Teddy while he was in high school to see if he had any learning disabilities.  His parents or teachers should have taken notice especially in 2001, when it felt to me around the time schools noted learning disabilities.  How did a store wide explosion not kill Teddy, but comically launch him onto his car?  How does Carrie rent a UFC/MMA type gym to beat knowledge into Teddy’s head during his learning montage, despite saying that she needs to teach the class just to earn rent money?  Why are there so many characters in this movie with not real point or not any good exposition?  If this movie was the final draft, I can imagine what the first draft of the movie was like.

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For a film called Night School, there wasn’t too much that seem to involved the actual night school process

 The end was rather disappointing.  Teddy had failed his GED test and had a montage of him retaking the test, three times.  He finally passed on the fourth attempt.  Right there it makes his conflict and struggle rather pointless if he could just keep getting a do over.  Also, he spoke for the class at graduation when he was the one who caused all of the problems and failed in his attempts of taking the tests.  Was it just a bland reason to get Teddy back together with Lisa?  The attempt at a do over joke was weak, and that weakened the struggling story all together.

What were your thoughts if you saw this movie?  If you have any questions or comments, please comment below, like, subscribe and share this article.  Thank you for reading.



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