April 26, 2017

'Fist Fight': Meet the Cast of Ice Cube's New Movie

18 February 2017, 12:52 | Sue Hudson

'Fist Fight' is a Comedy at War With Itself

Tracy Morgan on First Film After Crash: 'I Tried Not to Think About It … and Just Started Being Funny Again'

For the first time, Greenfield is stepping behind the camera, embracing a new role as producer and story writer on the upcoming comedy Fist Fight, out this Friday.

Early in the awful comedy Fist Fight, angry history teacher Mr. Strickland (Ice Cube) promises nervous English teacher Mr. Campbell (Charlie Day) that he's going to punch him in the face, but Campbell is far from the only character in this movie who deserves a pop in the mouth. So I was like well I'd be lucky, and I read it and it's definitely the weirdest character I've ever been offered to play, and I love playing odd women. Ms. Monet is given little do in the film, appearing in less than 10 minutes throughout the whole thing, and her thirst for murdering and stabbing people will make audiences feel uncomfortable.

"You know Cube, you come across like a tough guy, but I know there's a sweetness in you", Petrillo said.

"You could say that", laughed Charlie Day, "People find different ways to become friends".

It pits a stereotypical Angry Black Guy (Ice Cube, glaring and swearing) against a stereotypical Wimpy White Squish (Charlie Day, in squeaking weakling mode) whose ongoing conflict throughout the last day of school escalates to ... see title. Truly successful comedies are an endangered species these days, but Fist Fight is one of them.

"I can finally start being amusing again", Morgan told reporters.

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It's hard to understand the system that hired both Andy and Strickland (Cube), a permanently peeved colleague who's the one thing standing between the students and all-out anarchy. You'd see a movie and be laughing your ass off and then there'd be a real, sweet, great moment. As established at the outset, "Fist Fight" is set in the world of the ridiculous, so it follows that Campbell would go to insane lengths to avoid the fight with Strickland, including buying drugs from a student to plant on his colleague. Kids drug horses with meth and rig them with paint buckets to run around hallways; the principal's auto is vandalized; pictures of male genitals are secretly planted everywhere, from whiteboards to the football field.

However, Fist Fight's biggest blunder is the way it handles Mad Men's Christina Hendricks.

At the same time, though, much of the movie was not a surprise at all.

This is not a nice movie, and while its devil-may-care nastiness is occasionally bracing, it's just as often frustrating.

What were the biggest challenges you had to overcome in putting the film together? "It's cool 'cause now he just tells me how rich he is now". Comic highlights include the axe-wielding Strickland's classroom freak-out, Campbell's daughter's hilariously obscene talent show performance, and of course the climactic fistfight that accounts for this endeavor. "Fist Fight" is not one of them.

The "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia" star and rapper turned actor play rival teachers in a disastrously run high school in the (extremely) raunchy comedy, which they describe as a mixture of "Ferris Bueller's Day Off", "Three O'Clock High", "Animal House" and "Fast Times at Ridgemont High". And so he was really, really good at that balancing act. The film isn't about telling a coherent and thoughtful story and it's at its best when it sticks to crude humor.

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