One woman learns a lot about herself when she joins an all-female fight club in Chick Fight as a way of putting her life back in order.
Move over, David Fincher–there’s a new fight club in town. Wait! Are we even allowed to talk about Fight Club or any fight club?!? In all honesty, I couldn’t resist the joke about fight club. That is assuming we can talk about a fight club. I don’t make the rules here–director David Fincher, screenwriter Jim Uhls, and novelist Chuck Palahniuk did.
Anna Wyncomb (Malin Akerman) is at a rather intriguing point in her life. It would be one thing to say that she’s still grieving her mother. But this isn’t the only thing Anna is dealing with right now. Anna’s father recently came out–either gay or pansexual, I didn’t take notes here–and even though she’s totally on board, it still takes some time to adjust to the news. Hey, there’s nothing wrong with needing to adjust to her new normal. In any event, Anna’s state of mind takes a turn for the worst when she burns down her coffee shop by accident. Please note that said coffee shop is not insured. Best friend Charleen (Dulcé Sloan) rises up to the duty by introducing Anna to the world that is underground fight clubs. Once again, I should note that we are not allowed to talk about fight club!
Almost as quickly as Anna arrives, Olivia (Bella Thorne) becomes her rival. It isn’t just that the two are soon rivals in the ring but also in life. But in order to take on Olivia, Anna must turn to Jack Murphy (Alec Baldwin) to train her. After four years of seeing Baldwin portraying you know who on SNL, it is so nice to see him in other roles again. But I digress.
This is a film that certainly delivers on its title by giving us knockouts. There are no shortages during the 97-minute run time. Chick Fight not only delivers on the promised fights but manages to do so with a nice mix of funny. And to see Malin Akerman and Bella Thorne continually duking it out no matter what…
I think back to what writer-director Julia Hart was saying during AFI FEST. We’ve seen every story that can be made. What we haven’t seen are those stories told from another perspective. Hart isn’t wrong. We do need more of these stories. In the case of Chick Fight, Akerman not only stars but also produces the film. This film certainly owes something to the likes of Rocky and Fight Club–again, please don’t talk about Fight Club.
One thing to certainly note about the film is that Bella Thorne is moving further away from her Disney era image. This performance is among the most adult roles I’ve seen from the actress in her career to date. I’m not shaming any actor or actress for the roles they choose but it’s certainly different from their Disney work. Some actors are never able to escape that image whereas it’s easier for others to do so.
This film is among the final films produced by the late Ash Christian. Chick Fight is dedicated in the producer’s memory.
DIRECTOR: Paul Leyden
SCREENWRITER: Joseph Downey
CAST: Malin Akerman, Bella Thorne, Dulcé Sloan, Kevin Connolly, Kevin Nash, Alec Mapa, Vitoria Setta, Dominique Jackson, Fortune Feimster and Alec Baldwin