Film critic Zak Hepburn started out diplomatically enough.
When asked if he’d ever hated a movie as much as Night School, he adopted a typically neutral tone.
“Oh look, there’s been some that I have had troubles with,” he began.
But soon there was no denying his true feelings.
“Do you remember the 1980s film The Breakfast Club ‚ÄĒ that iconic work where a group of students are sent to detention on the weekend?”
“Well I wish I had been sent to a month of detention rather than sitting through this film.”
Night School is the latest offering from comedian Kevin Hart, and tells the story of a group of adult misfits who are forced to go back to evening classes in the hope they can gain their high school diplomas.
Running at just under two hours and with a budget of $US29 million, it promised some laughs and a fun, if not fantastic, night at the cinema.
Instead, it gave the film critics plenty of opportunities to pack in the puns as they tore it to shreds.
Mr Hepburn served up his own choice cuts:
“A failing grade from me.”
“Almost akin to a bad canteen lunch, served at a high school cafeteria.”
“I feel like the filmmakers clearly missed the joke writing and screen writing classes and they need to go back to school.”
“This has to be one of the worst excuses for a comedy release in the big screen in 2018.”
The films was co-written by Hart ‚ÄĒ known for his fast-talking, affable characters in films like Ride Along, Central Intelligence and Jumanji ‚ÄĒ and was also co-produced by his own company Hartbeat Productions.
Perhaps most frustrating for Mr Hepburn was that Hart’s co-star Tiffany Haddish ‚ÄĒ who most recently appeared in the all-female ensemble comedy Girls Trip ‚ÄĒ was dragged into the mess.
“The screen time that he shares with Tiffany Haddish ‚ÄĒ who I am a big fan of and regrettably she’s not given much to do in her role ‚ÄĒ they have no comedic charisma whatsoever,” he said.
Hart has reached out to his fans for their feedback on Twitter, where he is getting some positive responses, including that Night School is “super lit” and that he was “funny as hell”.
The rest of the critics have been less enthusiastic.
Ultimately, Mr Hepburn said it was a problem of writing and substance.
“It’s just one of those films you cannot get a grasp,” he said.
“Each joke feels so overblown, it feels tired.
“This film feels like a film you would have seen in the late 1990s on a plane.”