I got to admit, Kevin Hart is a comedian I don’t find funny at all. Although he was decent in “The Upside”, where he shared the screen with Bryan Cranston and Nicole Kidman, it made me believe that that’s the kind of direction Mr. Hart might consider taking on. Unfortunately, that was not the case and it seems he was never meant to be in “Night School” either, which, and I assure you, had great potential otherwise.
Hart’s Teddy Walker works as a salesman at a barbecue patio. The soon-to-retire boss, Joe, promises to pass his fast food restaurant to Joe, as frankly no one cared about the business more than he did. But after proposing to his girlfriend, Lisa, an accident happens that sees all his big dreams turn into ashes. The man realizes that he needs to find a job and do it as quickly as possible. His best friend, Matt, promises him a job in the company he works for as a financial advisor, but for that he needs to pass a GED test.
Directed by “Girls Trip’s” director, Malcolm D., the movie opens with a flashback scene of Teddy being in high school as a student who didn’t have the ability to learn even the simplest of tasks. It was revealed decades later that his learning disability was diagnosed by his current night school teacher (Tiffany Haddish). Teddy had much bigger issues than just the lack of desire to open a book. But this movie, instead of getting deep into that idea, takes a whole different route aiming at viewers that, I am afraid, are not that many.
As I already mentioned, after the accident, Teddy goes to high school where he meets his old classmate Stewart (Taran Killam) with whom he did not have a pleasant relationship at school. But thanks to the night school teacher, Carrie, Teddy was admitted to the school, where he showcases his best talent yet, wasting time and not realizing how important studying was for him.
Some scenes, unfortunately, were so meaningless that if I had a remote I would’ve switched the screen off. Some jokes, unfortunately, were too offensive to laugh at. And that’s the biggest problem of this movie, when it tried too hard and missed the whole point. For instance, Mr. Hart had such a big platform to communicate with the viewers for once, but instead he’s using jokes or lines that make no sense and appeared to not really know how to tackle sensitive subject matters in a way so we all could be proud of him.
The last forty minutes of the movie, luckily, was not as painfully dull as the preceding half but it’s all due to, perhaps, the realization that viewers came to see a movie about the guy who tries to study hard and not to see how he’s messing around with the only opportunity he had to succeed. It’s worth mention that towards the end, Hart’s Teddy finally finds his voice to tell what I’d been waiting from him, and that was rewarding. But other than that, the rest of the movie was a forgettable journey no one would ever want to take.
But I still must admit that, “Night School” will find its audience that will, no doubt, enjoy the movie more than I did. And I wish they will or even you, my dear reader. This is my biggest wish yet. But in the end, I am sure many will agree, next time Mr. Hart should let Tiffany Haddish take the lead, as no matter how hard she tried to save the movie, it’s not her fault this ended up as a painfully uninteresting, irrelevant piece that should not have been made in the first place.