Kevin Hart is funny and very likeable. He and his ‘nemesis’ and good friend, Dwayne Johnson’s banter on the likes of the Graham Norton show is extremely funny. Their film Central Intelligence also very funny. Fast-paced and well-crafted humour borne from the situations they find themselves in, veering away from cliches and toilet humour.
Night School is a little different. While funny in places, the repartee feels protracted, overcooking character exposition at every turn to the point you feel enough already, just get on with it. It will appeal to its intended young audience – Hart playing a troubled teen who still hasn’t grown up in his adult years. Alongside of Hart, co-stars Tiffany Haddish and Taran Killam provide the life lessons and heart to keep the ship on an even keel.
Star employee Teddy (Hart) finds himself the lucky inheritor to the BBQ empire where he works. He’s the perfect salesman, can spin a tale of longing for a BBQ never before seen. It affords him the fast cars and fast life – enabling him he believes to measure up in the eyes of his financially-independent executive fiance Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). When Teddy’s perfect life suddenly falls apart, he finds himself back living with his parents and employment prospects limited without a high school diploma he snubbed his nose at all those years ago. Trying to keep his demise a secret from Lisa, his high school buddy Marvin (Ben Schwartz) comes to the rescue with a job in finance – utilising Teddy’s storytelling skills to persuade the company’s clients to part faster with their cash – but only when he’s got the coveted diploma.
Teddy is intimidated by being back at school – bringing into sharp focus, memories of being bullied. So he gives up, deciding instead, together with his beleaguered group of fellow students, to cheat the test. He even fails at that. Enter Carrie (Haddish) the night school and special needs teacher, who, with some tough love and encouragement, will save Teddy’s day.
Hart and Haddish have had a long personal connection, since Hart first saw her comedic prowess. They are a good team on screen. Here’s hoping they find a clever script to bring them back together.
Night School screens now.
About Night School
Directed by: Malcolm D Lee
Written by: Kevin Hart, Harry Ratchford, Joey Wells, Matthew Kellard, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg
Stars: Kevin Hart, Tiffany Haddish, Megalyn Echikunwoke, Ben Schwartz, Taran Killam