Movie Review: Hulu’s “Miguel Wants to Fight” Relies Heavily on the Chemistry of Its Young Cast

Teenager-focused coming-of-age comedies have been a Hollywood staple for a long time. Often, they’re ridiculous, over the top and a bit vulgar. Hulu’s Miguel Wants to Fight hits all of those notes, but not always for the better. The loosely-constructed story is carried by the chemistry of its core cast and their witty banter. There’s plenty to enjoy about this new film but it’s not exactly a knockout.

Despite living in a neighborhood where fighting is stitched into the fabric of everyday life, Miguel has never found himself in one. And, to be honest, he’s perfectly fine with that. But when a combination of events turn his life upside down, Miguel and his three best friends – the stoic David, the rowdy Cass and the quick-tongued Srini – enter into a series of hilarious misadventures as he tries to get into his first ever fight.

A young person is told their family is moving and they’re worried about losing their friends. It’s certainty not a story that hasn’t been told hundreds of times before. However, Miguel Wants to Fight puts a ridiculous twist on the premise that only makes sense in the mind of a teenager. In a way, that is kind of brilliant as it force the audience to see the story through the eyes of its main character. However, for those who can’t relate to Miguel, which will likely be a very large percentage of the audience, it just feels nonsensical. The plot feels choppy and disconnected at times, in a way that mirrors films like Napoleon Dynamite, just without the completely off-the-wall humor that make films like that work. 

While there are plenty of hilarious moments throughout this film, it also attempts to be a bit of an homage to beloved fight movies. Unfortunately, it never truly commits to that bit in a way that truly pays off. As a result, it delivers slow, comedy-focused fight scenes that simply don’t hit in the same way that most of the scenes that just focus on interactions between the primary cast do.

And that’s exactly where the success of this film lies: in the chemistry of its cast. The biggest laugh-out-loud moments come from one liners and insults thrown around between the four main characters, in a way that makes it feel like you’re truly watching four best friends trade banter. The film is worth the watch for these moments alone and luckily, there are plenty of them throughout.

There are a few standouts in the cast as well. Christian Vunipola, who plays David, is not only hilarious at times but also adds some depth to the film with a few heartfelt moments. Imani Lewis and Suraj Partha, who play Cass and Srini respectively, are the ones who deliver the most laughs as the over-the-top friends who are willing to push things just a bit too far.

Overall, Miguel Wants to Fight is a bit messy. The plot a bit difficult to get behind and the few serious moments are undercut by the ridiculous nature of the film (as well as some truly cringe-worthy ADR). That point aside though, if you’re in the mood for a ridiculous comedy starring some very funny young people who work incredibly well together, this new movie is absolutely worth a watch.

Miguel Wants to Fight premieres exclusively on Hulu August 16th.

Mike Mack
Mack is the Editorial Director for Marvel and ESPN content and he has covered comic cons, theme park events, video game showcases and other fun events. He is a fan of theme parks, sports, movies, Marvel Comics and is a self-proclaimed "nerd."