‘Miguel Wants To Fight’ (2023) Summary And Review: A Teen Movie With Equal Parts Fun And Fists

Hulu’s newest action comedy, Miguel Wants To Fight, is set in Syracuse, where Miguel Perez (Tyler Dean Flores) needs to get into a fight within the week before he moves out. Directed by Oz Rodriguez, the movie is a happy amalgamation of teen drama, goofy action, and hilarious comedy and makes for a rather satisfying watch. Timed at only 1 hour and 15 minutes, this won’t take up too much of your daily leisure time, and you’ll find yourself laughing along as these teens go through a phase of self-discovery in this movie’s runtime. Here’s a detailed summary and review of Miguel Wants To Fight.


Spoilers Ahead

Why Does Miguel Want To Fight?

Miguel Perez is the timid and peace-loving kid who hangs out with a group of three other teens in the rather unruly part of Syracuse. Although his father is a boxing coach, Miguel would much rather make TikTok videos where he edits himself and his friends as Naruto characters. However, his friends have never shied away from a fight and can often be seen sporting bruises as a result of the same, including Cass, the only girl in the quartet. Miguel’s best friend David looks up to his deceased father, a boxing champion, but is also trying to succeed in his studies. Srini, the Indian kid, fits in nicely with the crew, and as a whole, the four of them make a compact team with only one issue. In all his life, Miguel has never thrown a punch or gotten into a fight, and this becomes apparent after some rowdy teens mouth off to Srini and they get into a fight, while Miguel can only watch from the sidelines.


While internally debating his inability to be in a fight, Miguel is bombarded with the sudden news that his family will be moving to Albany in a week to be in a safer neighborhood. His dad (Raul Castillo) wants to assure Miguel that things will be better for him in Albany, but he misunderstands that, as his dad thinks of his son as a coward. He’s unable to share with his friends this new update, but he is determined to get into a fight and get rid of this humiliating tag of being too scared to throw fists. Hilarity ensues when Miguel and his buddies chalk up new targets as the day of the move draws closer, but for some reason or other, the fight never happens. The first target of Miguel is Adrian, for having insulted him in the art class, but when the time comes to fight, Miguel realizes Adrian has his hand in a cast. He goes after another guy who’d badmouthed Miguel’s knock-off Air Jordans but ends up befriending the guy.

Why Does Miguel Get detained?

One of the most hilarious scenes is when Miguel squares off against Blake, the resident racist white guy in the town, in a roasting contest, but when Blake lets loose on the Hispanic teen, Miguel goes personal. He celebrates the fact that Blake’s sister had both her legs shattered in a car accident, unaware that she was present in the crowd. Fed up with failing, he goes to meet Armando, a pro-boxer who’s just stepped out of prison, and seeks his advice. Interestingly, David and Armando have been enemies ever since the latter insulted David’s deceased father. Armando’s advice resonates with Miguel, and he contemplates the fact that he might not be the good guy he thinks he is. Finally, Miguel decides he’s going to thump John, probably the nicest guy in the town, but is put in detention for mouthing off to his English teacher, Mrs. Rodriguez. While chasing John through the corridor later, Miguel bumps into the one guy everyone purposefully avoids: Damien Delgado.


Why Does David Get Angry At Miguel?

Delgado is a big, dangerous freak who’s known to have hurled a bus driver off a bus for failing to wait for him. However, being extremely frustrated, Miguel insults Delgado, who pushes Damien. His knuckles crack, and he prepares to throw a punch at the bully’s face, unaware that Mrs. Rodriguez is running towards them to stop the fight. The moment she pushes Delgado away, Miguel throws the punch straight at his teacher’s voluminous bosom. Thankfully, Delgado is made to suffer the entire blame as he’s known as a troublemaker, but outside the school, things escalate between the friends. David reveals that he saw Miguel’s parents packing things to move and blames his friend for not helping him with the SAT test. Miguel retorts, saying David isn’t supportive, and he insults David’s late father. The two huff away to their individual homes, and that night, Miguel’s dad tells him that the move was only because his parents wanted to give him a good life, and he’d never thought of his son as a coward. Miguel watches a tape of him and his friends as kids and calls Cass to organize something.

How Do The Friends Overcome Their Issues?

The next morning, David is called by Cass and Srini, and Miguel joins to apologize, but David isn’t in the mood. Just then, the same group that’d picked on Srini in the beginning returns, and all of them start fighting to save Miguel. However, this time, he focuses his entire energy, anger, frustration, and determination on saving his friends and throws his first-ever punch, instantly bruising his knuckles. Thirty-six seconds later, the fight is over, but David and Miguel are best friends again, and the four of them walk away into the sunset as funky background music starts playing.



Miguel Wants To Fight isn’t the typical teen fighting movie centered around teens going through intense training for the entire duration for a big fight in the end, Beat Down being the most obvious example. This movie, on the other hand, is a humorous take on all fight movies, as evidenced by Miguel imagining himself in various scenes from famous action movies like Enter the Dragon, Matrix, and RRR. However, that’s all he can do with his mind because, when the time comes to actually be in a fight, he fumbles badly. This is how the movie becomes relatable to the millions of teens who watch action films and imagine becoming huge action stars but avoid conflicts in real life. This is finally one movie where the teenagers look like teenagers—nerdy, awkward, and still at the age when their bodies aren’t fully developed—unlike Netflix teen movies, where the actors are hulking monsters. That might be another reason why teens can actually connect with the cast and enjoy the 75-minute comedy.

Speaking of comedy, there are a few laugh-out-loud moments where you find yourself pausing the screen to laugh or even hitting’rewind’ to return and re-live some hilarious dialogue. As a comedy featuring four teens, the movie delivers perfectly and has just the right amount of drama to make the protagonist’s change of heart worth it without becoming too sappy and mushy. Flores doesn’t overplay his geeky attitude too much, but at the same time, he doesn’t look like a star, which is the best thing about him. Not only do his generic physical features make him connect to teens around the world, but the movie provides a wide representation of several minorities in the USA, including a Filipino boxer, an Indian teen, and a black girl who spends time boxing and hangs with an all-boys group. Finally, the sequences where Miguel imagines himself in popular movies are choreographed nicely, but what stands out is the segment where he’s imagined as an anime character, which has the professional capacity to overwhelm even the most famous anime from Japan.


Overall, this is a movie that you wouldn’t regret watching, and you’ll find yourself thoroughly entertained throughout the short runtime of Miguel Wants To Fight, which is always a plus when it comes to independent films.

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Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh Talukdar
Indrayudh has a master's degree in English literature from Calcutta University and a passion for all things in cinema. He loves writing about the finer aspects of cinema, although he is also an equally big fan of webseries and anime. In his free time, Indrayudh loves playing video games and reading classic novels.

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Overall, this is a movie that you wouldn’t regret watching, and you’ll find yourself thoroughly entertained throughout the short runtime of Miguel Wants To Fight, which is always a plus when it comes to independent films.'Miguel Wants To Fight' (2023) Summary And Review: A Teen Movie With Equal Parts Fun And Fists