Beastie Boys – As most of the world continue to reflect on founding member of the Beastie Boys Adam Yaunch’s death, it is a good time to announce this post as a commemorative review of the short film Fight For Your Right (2011). Seth Rogan, Elijah Wood, and Danny McBride star as the band members Mike D, MCA, and Ad-Rock leaving an abandoned apartment and having mini adventures in a small neighborhood. The short has plenty of celebrity cameos (Amy Poehler, Susan Sarandon, Ted Danson, Kristen Dunst, Steve Buscemi, and Orlando Bloom to name a few) as the citizens of the neighborhood in which they are causing a ruckus.
The short takes place after the events of the music video of the same name with the band members coming down the stairs from an abandoned apartment, excitedly recalling the night’s events. They soon run into the landlords of the building, who begin to question the three on mentions of sledgehammers and pie throwing. After a stare down with the older gentleman in the duo, the group heads down to the corner store for beer. MCA (McBride) decides he doesn’t want to wait for the shop to open, so he smashes in the glass door with a trash can.
What ensues shortly after is the trio walking in slow motion down the sidewalk, opening the cans of beer, shaking the contents, and tossing them at random people. Throughout the scene, the group raps as the trio pause for a moment–a few times to barge into an upscale restaurant to take a bottle of wine from a patron, and get hit by a limo containing three colorful female metal heads.
Entering the vehicle, they soon discover the women are tripping on LSD and Ad-Rock (Wood) is stabbed, but isn’t injured whatsoever. After a strange intermission scene of a man wearing a sombrero on top of the parked limo, the band exits the vehicle. While tripping on LSD themselves, they run into a DeLorean. Their future selves (played by John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black) step out of the car and challenge them to a dance-off. Ridiculous dance moves are exchanged and shortly after, all six of them are hauled off in a paddy wagon and the short closes with the line “Check Back in 25 Years”.
Viewing this film after the unfortunate news was particularly engaging and reflective. Many who grew up in the 80s/90s and those of whom who recently know of the Beastie Boys and their significant contribution to hip-hop and funk recognize their skills and ambition. This short should be viewed not only for laughs but as a monument to the late Adam Yaunch’s creative legacy.
Yauch’s passion and talent for filmmaking led to his founding of Oscilloscope Laboratories, which in 2008 released his directorial film debut, the basketball documentary Gunnin’ For That #1 Spot and had since become a major force in independent video distribution, amassing a catalogue of such acclaimed titles as Kelly Reichardt‘s Wendy and Lucy, Oren Moverman‘s The Messenger, Banksy’s Exit Through The Gift Shop, Lance Bangs and Spike Jonze‘s Tell Them Anything You Want: A Portrait Of Maurice Sendak and many more.