I mean, what would you really expect from a Kevin Hart movie?
‘Night School’ follows high school dropout Teddy Walker (Kevin Hart) as he attempts to get his GED to get a job at a financial company after he accidentally sets his old job on fire while proposing to his girlfriend Lisa (Megalyn Echikunwoke). Teddy with his fellow GED seekers, Mackenzie (Rob Riggle), Jaylen (Romany Malco), Theresa (Mary Lynn Rajskub), Mila (Anne Winters), Luis (Al Madrigal) and Bobby (Fat Joe), must work together to pass the class with the help of their unconventional night school teacher Carrie (Tiffany Haddish).
With it being directed by the same director from ‘Girls Trip”, Malcolm D. Lee, you’d think Night School would be an incredibly hilarious movie. Not to say that it wasn’t, it was funny for the most part, but it didn’t even hold a finger to the level of comedy that Girls Trip had. Some jokes didn’t land well, while others did. Hart basically played the same role he does in every single movie he’s been in, which can seem a little repetitive if you’ve seen his other films, while Haddish is spot on with her comedic moments the majority of the time. However, I’d have to say that the best comedic moments come from the supporting cast, mainly with Fat Joe, who plays a prisoner trying to take his GED from a jail cell, Riggle, who plays a not-so-bright father who made a bet with his son to get his GED so he wouldn’t drop out, and Malco, who plays a paranoid conspiracy theorist.
The chemistry the cast has is what really helps this movie. Not only is the chemistry between Hart and Haddish great, but the entire cast as a whole really work well together. There’s not much character development with the supporting cast, but what is there is enough to care for most of them and really root for them to get their GEDs.
Besides the cheesy “comedic” score and weird camera work in some scenes, the script is what really hurts this movie. Some scenes seem to go on for too long to the point where you’re bored and just want it to move on. Also the ending seemed a little too abrupt, like they couldn’t think how exactly to put an end to it and were just like “okay, we’re done.” However, the overall message of the movie about never giving up and getting good grades helps it a lot. Also, the movie brings awareness to learning disabilities, specifically dyslexia, and Hart does a great job at humanizing his character who struggles with it, delivering an accurate depiction of the disability while adding humor to it as well.
With the question of if Night School passes or fails, I’d say it passes, but just barely.