Why does 40-year-old Anna (Malin Akerman), a struggling small business owner who has never been on the giving or receiving end of a punch, decide to go along with this senseless marianismo of a female fight club? Because the actress that plays her doubles as the film’s producer, and dammit, there’s a plot to advance! When it comes to comedy and physicality, Akerman’s timing, unlike the script’s character shadings, is on target. Bella Thorne proves there's not a working actress better suited than she to play the toughest mauler in the room. The small screen is robbing filmgoers of Alec Baldwin’s essence. After five minutes, one realizes how much he's been missed. Not since Walter Matthau trained Tatum O’Neal in The Bad News Bears has a serial rumpot brought this much delight to the art of instruction. I’d sooner buy into the film’s hopelessly contrived ending than motivational talk of “Leave behind all fear and doubt and step in the ring to prove yourself brave.” If Fight Club used violence to reach an anti-violent conclusion, Chick Fight uses violence to sell popcorn. It’s consumable, but it could have used a little more salt. Directed by Paul Leyden. (2020) — Scott Marks
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