What is clear to glean from the reviews of the comedy Fist Fight is that the film accommodates a certain type of audience. If you enjoy your humor rude, crude and off the rails, then there is a chance this will be 91-minutes up your ally.
Despite the lukewarm reception, many are happy that the motion picture has offered Tracy Morgan a shot at redemption following his car accident in 2014. Fearing the worst, the former 30 Rock star did not know if he would return the same man. But, speaking with Collider, he is thankful to the cast and crew that they welcomed him with open arms.
Keen To Explore Own Territory As Comedians Get License To Laugh
Overcoming a number of physical and mental scars, the 48-year old proclaims this movie will have a special place in his heart.
"For me to be on the set was special, for me," started Morgan. "Fist Fight will always stick out for me because... it was the first project that I did after the accident, but it was a pleasure for me to work with the co-stars and the cast that I had. They treated me so good and that's from my heart. They treated me really good - Ice Cube, Charlie Day, Jillian (Bell) and the twins. Even when I was there they made me feel comfortable, especially Richie Keen (director). He directed and he knew what he was doing. I trusted him (to make me) funny and he places it in the right places and in scenes and guided us. So I will never forget Fist Fight, it was just a joy to work."
Bell agreed, stating that filmmaker Richie Keen has a very good grasp on their work and what they were trying to produce.
"Yeah we had a good captain on the ship," explained Bell. "He was great, he just let us do our thing and would come in with really good suggestions, pitches and if it was going well he just let it ride out, you know?" Morgan then interjected. "He's really f***ing cool man... When he said, 'Action!' what we heard was 'relax.' We're at our funniest when we're relaxed. It's basically what Bruce Lee says, 'never tense up until the moment of impact.' So yeah, Bruce Lee fought best when he was relaxed."
Director Moving At Same Speed With Cast
So was it difficult for director Keen to keep control of these different personalities on set? According to Morgan, he was on the exact same page as the rest of the crew.
"No you gotta understand, as stand ups we are funny people and our minds move at the speed of light, we move at the speed of light," remarked Morgan. "I know other cast members who can keep up with me, they kept up with me and I kept up with them. So we're moving at the speed of light. Richie Keen did stand up, so he moves at the same speed."
"It's funny too, when you look at a script you feel as though there's always something in the scene where you highlight words and you go, 'OK there's a word, there's room to play and make some jokes,' but you just let it go and see what happens," says Bell.
Asked if there was anyone ruining takes because of excessive laughter or attempting to push the boundaries, Morgan believed that there is no such thing.
"I think no takes are ruined," argues Morgan. "We as artists are just trying to make it hard for Richie Keen in the editing room. 'God damn it I don't wanna cut this!' But you have to understand sometime you have to sacrifice your own children like Abraham was about to do... We just trying to make it hard for Richie. That's all what we're doing basically every scene."