You can kinda see what movie executives were thinking when they greenlit Night School. The pairing of Kevin Hart – box office gold, particularly in the States – and rising star Tiffany Haddish is really all you need, and the premise – Hart’s character, Teddy, has to go back to get his high school diploma with the aid of night school teacher Carrie (Haddish) – seems like it has enough meat on its bones to warrant a feature-length film.
The first warning sign is when six (six!) names appear on the screen credited as writers, and things swiftly go downhill. Night School’s half-dozen writers can’t seem to salvage anything funny or original out of the film’s thin premise. Turns out learning about maths and grammar is a poor comedic foundation, so they experiment with sub-plots – a nocturnal break-in, a Christian-themed fried chicken chain – to execrable results.
You could forgive Night School’s deeply clichéd, incredibly uneven storytelling had it boasted even a couple good jokes …but no. Hart tends to overcompensate for the thinness of material – mugging, bugging his eyes out and making crude puns – and here it just underlines how poorly thought out this whole project was. Haddish, meanwhile, is wasted. A complete failure.