Three to see
WATCH AT HOME
HIGHER learning fails every test except base humour and lazy racial stereotypes in director Malcolm D Lee’s comingof-middle-age comedy.
Based on a script credited to six writers including leading man Kevin Hart, Night School revises the tropes of high school movies since The Breakfast Club but can’t muster an original thought in almost two hours.
Teddy Walker (Hart) is the leading salesman of grills at Joe’s BBQ City in Atlanta.
But if he wants to secure a well-paid career and take care of his girlfriend Lisa, the high school drop-out must go back to the classroom to pass his General Educational Development test (GED).
Teddy enrols in night classes with a motley crew of misfits including Jaylen (Romany Malco), aspiring singer-songwriter Luis (Al Madrigal), proud father Mackenzie (Rob Riggle), unhappy mother Theresa (Mary Lynn Rajskub) and teenage reprobate Mila (Anne Winters), who is begrudgingly at school to avoid juvenile detention.
A convict called Bobby (Jacob Batalan) attends remotely via video.
The group’s no-nonsense teacher, Carrie (Tiffany Haddish), warns that she will not tolerate timewasters.
Night School graduates without a single decent laugh with Hart’s flawed hero grating on the nerves.
Narrative arcs trace predictable paths and the final 10 minutes are beset with cloying sentimentality. Missed it at the cinema or on TV? We round up the best streaming and DVD releases of the week