17th Dec2020

‘Chick Fight’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Malin Akerman, Bella Thorne, Dulcé Sloan, Kevin Nash, Kevin Connolly, Alec Mapa, Dominique Jackson, Fortune Feimster, Alec Baldwin | Written by Joseph Downey, Hope Bryant | Directed by Paul Leyden

After her life falls apart – her car repossessed, her coffee shop up in literal flames – Anna Wyncomb (Malin Akerman) is introduced to an underground, all-female fight club by her friend and cop Charleen (Dulcé Sloan); who thinks the club will be the thing to help turn the mess of her life around. Shocked at first, Anna soon discovers she is much more personally connected to the history of the club than she could ever imagine and enlists hard drinking trainer, Jack Murphy (Alec Baldwin), to teach her how to actually fight…

Let’s be fair here. Chick Fight falls solidly into the classic movie underdog trope – though here there’s a much more feminine take on the cliched story. Yes this is told from a female perspective, with female issues at the fore but that doesn’t mean that the film is aimed squarely at women. In fact guys who enjoy these type of action movies, where the hero must overcome the odds and win one big fight – as seen in the likes of pretty much every early Van Damme movie – will enjoy this too. It’s just that this feels like its got a little more heart to it than your typical macho action film.

Chick Fight also echoes the story of Fight Club. Only here the struggle for Malin Akerman’s Anna is self-belief. Anna acts all casual, never seemingly worrying about much but below the surface she’s pretty much a wreck. And her cash-flow issues an collapse of here coffee shop is what eventually pushes her over the edge. The kind of desperation that would get anyone looking into joining a fight club though? That might be pushing it. What’s also pushing believability is the connection to the underground club that Anna has… It’s a ridiculous “twist” that feels like a vapid attempt at building more emotion into this films story. It doesn’t need it – there’s plenty of emotion here already. Instead it feels more forced than anything else this movie has to offer!

Thankfully Chick Fight has a great lead in Malin Akerman, who pretty much carries the entire film on her back (and not just on screen, Akerman also serves as producer on this film too). Her on-screen persona, no matter the film, is always likeable and it’s not different here. You empathise with Anna, you believe in Anna when she doesn’t belive in herself and – as you should with these types of movies – you really root for her in the films climatic fight… And everything that follows; for the fight is NOT the end of this story, or Anna’s.

With a supporting cast that includes Alec Baldwin in fine comedic form and Entourage’s Kevin Connolly as the fight club doctor and Anna’s love interest, Chick Fight is no slouch in the acting department. It’s just a shame that the script lets everyone down on mutiple occasions.What isn’t a let down though are the fights…. Filmed very much like your usual hard-hitting action flicks, the fights here don’t pull any punches and even those actresses that aren’t fighters are made to look good. Really good. It also doesn’t hurt that the fights are set to a fantastic soundtrack – with songs from Akerman’s sister no less and are shot in such a way that each and every blow is felt by the audience.

If you’re expecting real depth from a film about women beating each other up in a bizarre quasi-empowering way then that’s on you. What we do get with Chick Fight is a light, fluffy, fun fight flick that sticks to a familiar script but gives it a feminie perspective.

*** 3/5


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