You studied extremely well for a test, you memorised the flashcards, pulled the all-nighters, and went through all your lecture notes. Given all of this, it is fair that you expect a good grade. But when you receive the exam grade and it is a C -, you have to wonder why and how this happened. How can someone have all these good elements going for him/her and still manage to mess it up? Audiences were wondering the same thing with Night School, a film that flunked their expectations.
Night School follows high school dropout Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart), as he tries to find a new job. Walker’s friend offered to find him a job as a financial analyst, if he gets his General Equivalency Diploma (GED). As such, Walker has no choice but to attend night school (where his arch high school nemesis is the principle), lie to his fiancé about it, and pass the GED test in order to be able to support his future family.
The plot offers so much potential for possible humor, from dealing with adult students to working temp jobs in a chicken suit, but the film’s execution does not deliver. There are barely any laugh out loud moments in the film’s first half. As per the film’s second half, it does contain a few laugh out moments; however, these moments are far too rare and far too spaced apart, especially for a film that belongs to the comedy genre. Moreover, the quality of the jokes made did not appeal to most audiences, and instead catered to a very specific and limited group: a group that would appreciate misheard words or a white man pretending to be black.
As for the acting, Kevin Hart tried to carry the film, and gloss over its many faults, with his famous humorous expressions, but not even he could rescue the film from being mediocre. No matter how hard Hart tried, the poorly written lines negatively affected his performance. Playing Teddy’s teacher Carrie, Tiffany Haddish, was a major source of laughter in the film and was able to balance her role as a funny and aggressive, yet sentimental and caring, teacher. Haddish made the film so much lighter, and also attempted to save it; while watching her punch the lights out of Kevin Hart was very funny, Night School as a whole could not be saved.
Night School is not a total laughter fest but, maybe if you have the time and nothing better to do you can give it a go.
Will you laugh your head off? Probably not.