Joining Tiffany Haddish and Kevin Hart together seems like a pairing and choosing Malcolm D. Lee as director only adds to that pairing. Hart and Haddish are vibrant and strong talents in the world of comedy with each bringing their unique blend that make for what would seem like a formula of success. However, there is always a chance chemistry will falter and that the execution of the entire movie could sink faster than it can swim, and that is exactly the case with Night School.
Kevin Hart plays the role of Teddy Walker, a high school dropout when he was a teenager. Fast forward seventeen years later and he is about to catch up with his past, and the lack of his GED requires him to return to high school or risk losing all that is dear to him. The supporting cast is an eccentric group that includes Romany Malco, Jane Rajskub, and Rob Riggle. The role of the teacher is played by Haddish, who proceeds to attempt to humiliate Harts character every chance she can get in what was meant to be funny, but fails to achieve that goal.
Humiliation Concept Using Comedy
The humiliation concept through the use of comedy is nothing new, and in many cases, it is not seen negatively when attempting to get laughs. There are some characters that are simply put, designed for this and the abuse that follows but in most cases. There are aspects built into the character that balances things out however in Night School, that part was missed when it comes to Harts character.
The storyline is weak, and it easily collapses. The movie also puts a lot of its weight towards stereotypical humour, and while we laughed at a large number of the jokes, it is essentially taking everything you saw in Billy Madison, changing out the characters and simply repeating something that worked before, so why not try it again.
What is hard to accept is the fact that you have two very talented comedic actors who both know better, yet they agreed to the script without voicing the input needed to put together a far better product, and that is unforgivable and potentially disastrous to both their careers. The fact they found it acceptable in this time era to poke fun at the mental challenges of its lead character also suggests they have lost touch with social acceptance.
Collectively, what Night School was made for was lip service to those that are fans of Hart’s style of comedy and little else. Yes, Hart is likeable in his portrayal of Teddy Walker, but there is little else that holds this ensemble together. End of the day, Nigh School is not worth the ticket stub and or the price of a box of popcorn.