(Photo Credit: Universal Pictures)
G.E.D. with Honors
Any hater that predicted the early demise of Kevin Hart’s dominance in the comedy world has some re-thinking to do after the surprisingly hilarious, “Night School.”
Sure, Hart plays pretty much the same miniature character in many of his movies. But producers like Will Packer keep finding new ways to make his performances fresh and laugh out loud funny.
In “Night School,” the characters that surround Hart make the film one of the funniest movies of 2018 and “Night School” continues the successful collaboration of Hart and Packer.
In “Night School,” Teddy (Hart) struggles with the difficulty of high school, while his twin sister achieves at almost genius level.
She brags about earning over 1500 on the SATs (back when 1600 represented the highest possible score on that particular standardized test) and finds it amusing that her “smart, dumba** brother” struggles so much with basic schooling.
Teddy’s in danger of not even getting the 400 points you get for spelling your name correctly on the SAT because he does not even realize that his government name is actually Theodore and not Teddy.
While taking a standardized test, Teddy finally has enough of it and decides to quit high school to become a “winner.”
Teddy does not want to end up in debt from college like the smart losers who do better than him in high school.
He wants to become a winner, and finishing high school does not fit into the equation.
The funny thing is, he initially achieves all of his goals, driving a luxury sports car and dating a beautiful woman who is out of his league.
Teddy is living his best life to quote comedian/rapper Lil Duval.
Of course, that is until his life turns upside down and his façade begins to crack.
In “Night School,” Teddy is living paycheck-to-paycheck trying to maintain his façade of affluence.
Although his girlfriend is well off herself and not interested in Teddy’s money, he still sees the need to be “the man” and financially provide for the lady he wants to spend the rest of his life with.
His best friend from high school is his financial advisor and constantly warns him of his impending financial doom.
Although Teddy’s girlfriend often offers to pay for their meals, Teddy refuses even when the meal was a part of his girlfriend’s business expenditures.
However, when Teddy receives a bill at an expensive and exclusive restaurant for over $800 he has to find a way to get out of the building without paying.
Teddy’s brilliant idea is to pull pubic hair off of his privates and place it on the cheesecake that he has just ordered.
Although he gets out of that ordeal at the restaurant, his problems really began after the dinner.
Teddy is the best barbeque pit salesperson at his company.
His accomplishments provide enough money just to scrape by considering his lifestyle.
However, he desperately needs to make some drastic changes in his career in order to keep up the image that he has cultivated for himself.
When his boss Joe Sr. offers to place him in charge of the business when he steps down instead of his son Joe Jr., Teddy finally breathes a sigh of relief.
However, that relief is temporary after an accident shuts down the entire business, leaving Teddy with no prospects for another job making the kind of money he made at the barbeque pit store.
Teddy finds the job prospects even bleaker because he never finished high school 17 years earlier.
A job as a financial analyst presents itself but only if Teddy completes his GED.
The only obstacles to achieving that goal is that the principal at Piedmont High School in Atlanta is a former classmate named Stewart (Taran Killam) who hates Teddy’s guts, he has already made an enemy in the night school teacher (Tiffany Haddish), he got one of his classmates fired after his pubic hair fiasco at the restaurant, and like his sister said, he is a dumba***.
Therefore, there is nothing guaranteeing his success at night school.
What is guaranteed from “Night School” is uncontrollable laughter thanks to the characters that director Malcolm D. Lee (“The Best Man Holiday”) develops.
Romany Malco’s character is a “woke,” mentally challenged, bald-headed married man who desperately wants his GED so that he does not have to take a job cleaning hotel rooms at Best Western.
Malco’s character is a walking contradiction.
Although he refers to his wife as his queen, he also refers to her as his “bottom B.”
He claims to be so deep, but mistakes Skype for some illuminati witchcraft.
Fat Joe’s character has to Skype in from prison to attend night school.
Although he is focused on his education, his classmates watching him on Skype have to focus on having his back because at any moment one of his enemies from the prison yard can try to sneak up on him behind his back with a shank.
Even though Teddy is the definition of dumb, Rob Riggle’s character challenges him for dumbness supremacy.
When the night school class tries to break into Piedmont High School, all of the other burglars wear all black, while Riggle’s character dons a bright yellow hoodie.
Although Hart finally finds comedians and actors to match his comedy skills, the current king of comedy deserves most of the praise because of his co-writing credit.
Along with five other co-writers, the creative minds behind the characters in “Night School” create a film in which all of the stars shine equally in terms of comedy.
More importantly, Hart continues to solidify his working relationship with Packer, which will continue to dominate comedy films for the foreseeable future.
Likewise, Haddish also worked with Packer on “Girls Trip” in 2017.
Packer will produce Hart again in “Ride Along 3,” which also stars rapper/actor Ice Cube.
Haters of Hart will probably come out of the woodwork to criticize “Night School” and in the near future for the third installment of “Ride Along.”
However, hating does not hurt Hart who continues to capitalize on his dominance of the comedy genre.