Following its TV premiere last night, all of Fight for Your Right Revisited — a short directed by Adam Yauch that’s preceding the new Beastie Boys album, Hot Sauce Committee Vol. 2 — has popped up online. It is, as its overstuffed cameo roll and basic concept — Mike D (played by Seth Rogen), Ad-Rock (Elijah Wood), and MCA (Danny McBride) continuing to wreak havoc the morning after the party from the “Fight for Your Right” video — would suggest, a wholeheartedly awesome twenty-plus minutes. It’s got an improvised (in a good way) feel, an exceptionally funky soundtrack of new Beasties music, the coining of the term “Jon Bon” to refer to the front man of Bon Jovi, the consumption of whippits, and exchanges like this:
Susan Sarandon [As the absentee resident of the apartment that hosts the party.]: There haven’t been any pie fights? I keep finding these pie remnants.”
McBride: I haven’t seen any sort of desserts … at all. Nothing.
Best of all, though, is the fact that Fight for Your Right Revisited is the Beasties making a public peace with their earlier selves. As Yauch explains in the liner notes to the band’s anthology, Sounds of Science, the whole frat-party vibe behind “Fight for Your Right” specifically, and the band’s public persona during the Licensed to Ill era in general, was a joke that went too far. It was, of course, a wildly successful joke that many people love, which made it bittersweet to see the band so firmly turn their back on it. With some separation, though (25 years’ worth, to be exact), the Beasties can appreciate, with a big, comical sigh of relief, that they did, in fact, very successfully shed those personas.
That appreciation is made explicit when the older, jerkier versions of the Beasties (John C. Reilly, Will Ferrell, and Jack Black, all in top form) show up and fake Mike D has a realization: “This is just a possibility of the future. I think that we’re being given the gift of seeing what we could be like.” “So these guys are like the ghost of Licensed to Ill future,” adds a pensive fake MCA. (Also: “Can’t even untie a fucking dance mat.”) That means Fight for Your Right Revisited is basically a big, fun, well-aged tribute to the band’s personal maturation. Kind of heartwarming, right?