By Allison Hazlett-Rose
Sep 27, 2018 03:56 PM EST

Night School Theatrical Review

Night School offers laughs and gags THAT are so funny that you can’t hear the next dialog because the audience is laughing too hard.
Night School Theatrical Review
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Summer is over, the Fall has begun.  Kids are back in school, learning and striving towards the goal of earning their High School Diplomas.  This achievement is a milestone in the lives of so many young people and seems to be a necessity in today's society to get almost any kind of job.  For those who drop out before they graduate, this can be a setback to getting ahead professionally and financially and a decision they may regret down the road.  Luckily, with hard work and perseverance, they can earn a GED (General Equivalency Diploma).  This is exactly the situation Teddy (Kevin Hart; Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) finds himself in in Universal Studio's latest release, Night School.

When Theodore "Teddy" Walker was a teenager he excelled in various aspects of High school; namely, sports, dating, and friends.  Academics, however, weren't his strong suit and when he was required to take a comprehensive exam at the end of his senior year he "protested" and therefore never graduated.  He managed to make a decent living as a salesman though he lives beyond his means to impress his girlfriend, Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke; House of Lies).  Unfortunately, his good luck ends soon after his engagement when he loses his job, his fancy car is repossessed and the only way for him to get a decent job is for him to earn his GED.

Teddy, trying to better himself, decides to enroll in night school to study for the dreaded test and ends up in a classroom with a group of misfits.  Hoping to get by on his charm, Teddy learns that his usual tactics won't work with the night school teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish; Girls Trip) so he and his fellow classmates decide to steal the practice exam.  This experience helps them bond and by the end of the movie, the former antagonists become friends.

If one was putting together a comedy dream team Hart and Haddish would certainly be on it.  There is no denying they have talent and are two of the hottest comedians around right now.  Even their banter on stage at Cinemacon this past April was fun with a number of laughs as they introduced a preview of this film.  However, great Comedians with mediocre material simply doesn't work no matter how good they are.  The supporting cast had funnier moments than the leads and they shined.  Rob Riggle (The Daily Show), Taran Killam (12 Years a Slave), Mary Lyn RajSkub (24), Anne Winters (13 Reasons Why), Al Madrigal (The Daily Show), Fat Joe (Happy Feet) and Romany Malco (Weeds) are the meat behind the jokes and they all blend to create a terrific comedy stew.

While some of the laughs and gags that are so funny that you can't hear the next dialog because the audience is laughing too hard, those moments are few and far between.  Hart's "Shtick" grows tired and Haddish's talent is wasted playing the straight man. Malco, Rajskub, and Madrigal get the best scenes and they certainly make the most of them.   Even Fat Joe is a surprise even though he isn't in the film all that much.

If you were wondering what happened to the group from 1987's Summer School… here they are 30 years later and still trying to pass.  The premise of both movies is basically the same just with updated technology and wording (Skype and anal sex jokes?).  The story is just as heartwarming as it was back then though.

It is nice to see a teacher who really cares and Haddish does the profession justice.  The movie also tackles the topic of learning disabilities in a practical way while still be sensitive to those that deal with issues on a daily basis.

A new classic Night School is not but it will be a fun night out with a few laughs along the way.

Grade: C

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MPAA Rating: PG-13
Running Time: 111 minutes
Distributed By: Universal Pictures

For more information about Night School visit the FlickDirect Movie Database.

About Allison Hazlett-Rose



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