*Actor/rapper Ice Cube (O’Shea Jackson) is probably a big teddy bear on the inside, but the permanent frown that he wears probably leads most to believe that he’s not a guy you wanna f*ck with.
That’s why he’s the perfect choice to play alongside corky funnyman Charlie Day in the upcoming film “Fist Fight,” dropping in theaters February 17. The premise of this comedy is pretty simple and slightly cliche: it’s a classic David vs. Goliath paradigm in which Cube, a mean-spirited bully, challenges Day, a harmless nerd, to a good ol fashioned bawl.
The sparks begin to fly after Cube, who plays a teacher in the film, is fired from his job. Seething with anger and crazed by revenge, Cube convinces himself that he was let go because of the insidious actions of his colleague and adversary, the visually underwhelming Charlie Day, who plays a mild-mannered, and terribly unlucky, English teacher.
In a nutshell, Day inadvertently winds up on Cube’s sh*t list (never in the history of schoolyard beef has a bully had a legitimate reason for picking on his/her victim — it kinda just happens), and like any maladjusted human being would, instead of using his words to avoid conflict, Cube readily succumbs to his own savagery and plots to use Day’s face as a punching bag.
The news spreads like wildfire across the entire campus, and for the rest of the film, Day takes every precaution imaginable to avoid the sting of getting his ass royally whooped in front of God and everyone at school. Ta da! That’s pretty much it folks, not an ounce of depth, originality or substance in this one, but it’s funny as all hell (which counts for something). Besides, we all need a good laugh these days now that President Donald “Darth Vader” Trump and his storm troopers have successfully infiltrated the White House.
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In November 2015, I was flown to the ATL where “Fist Fight” came into being. The film was still in its infancy when I and a team of journalists arrived on set, but we were all blown away by the production team’s ability to transform an abandoned high school into a bona-fide institution of learning. The realism was on full display, and there were so many teenagers waiting for their cues that it felt like I was smack dab in the middle of regular school day. Wild and unrestrained chatter bounced off the walls of every classroom and hallway, reminding me of the unfiltered chaos that I once contributed to as an obnoxious high-schooler many years ago. It was the real deal.
Unforeseen circumstances prompted a months-long delay in production, and as a result, I was asked to leave the set prematurely. This turn of events prevented me from being introduced to Cube and Day. However, I managed to secure an interview with veteran comic Tracy Morgan, who plays the role of Day’s boxing coach in the film. Our encounter occurred only a few months after Morgan’s recovery from a dreadful traffic accident. During the interview, he discussed his role in Fist Fight, and he appeared to be in good health and good spirits.
“I’m happy to be alive”, he declared as tears formed in his eyes. “I never really understood how precious life is until I almost lost mine. If the outcome had been worse, I wouldn’t be talking to you today. I wouldn’t be enjoying my time here with my brother Ice Cube doing what I love — making people laugh”.
Morgan added, “Laughter is food for the soul. That’s what this movie is all about. I play a boxing coach in the film. I’m not very good at my job, and I’ll probably be responsible for getting Charlie’s [Day] character killed. I’m having a blast. The cast is fantastic and the script is hilarious. This movie will have people laughing so hard, they’ll have to get their ribs checked by a doctor. It’s that funny.”
“Fist Fight” from Warner Bros. will provide viewers with a comedic touch of childhood nostalgia. The film hits theaters on February 17.