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Miguel Wants to Fight (2023) 2023 / A sparkling teen comedy that never finds a theme or conflict to hold on to

6.5

Miguel Wants to Fight is as straightforward as its title. It has the energy of an early 2000s hijinks teen comedy, complete with (almost) parentless scenes and hypothetical fight scenes. At times, it also feels like a nostalgic action film as it makes homages to the same era. But while those aspects work well, the film goes nowhere thematically. There’s no reason to think that fighting would solve Miguel’s problems, and they ultimately don’t. And any discussion about why people in the neighborhood resort to violence (mistreatment of minorities, toxic masculinity, or as a rite of passage for respect) never finds its way into the script. 

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