Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club (1999) – There probably nothing much that can be written about Fight Club that hasn’t already been written. For me, it was how I discovered David Fincher. (Okay I had actually seen Alien 3 already, but that’s not exactly the best barometer of what he can do… though I do actually enjoy it quite a bit.) It also began a streak wherein Chuck Palahniuk was my favorite author. (The streak ended a few years back as I am not too big a fan of Snuff, Pygmy, or Tell-All and have not yet read Damned or Doomed. Survivor and Invisible Monsters would probably be my favorites of his, both published the year Fight Club the movie was released.) Fight Club has been analyzed relentlessly in every corner of the internet, so not really sure what I could add. But fuck it, got to try, right?

The unnamed narrator (Edward Norton) is caught up in all the trappings of modern life. Between his obsession over his IKEA furniture and the massive amounts of travel caused by his job as car recall coordinator, he has developed rather severe insomnia. He finds a solution in attending support groups for terminally ill patients, like testicular cancer survivor Bob (Meat Loaf). Doesn’t make sense? Eh, just go with it. This all falls apart when another “tourist” named Marla (Helena Bonham Carter) starts attending the same meetings. Soon enough, though, our humble narrator meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) and the two of them start something a little more aggressive than a support group. I’d tell you more but the first and second rule is that I’m not supposed to talk about it. (Hint: it’s the fucking title.)

I remember when I first saw the trailer for Fight Club it looked stupid. Instead it is actually a wickedly clever and riotously funny movie. It’s weird to really think of all the people this movie kind of helped me discover: David Fincher, Chuck Palahniuk, Edward Norton. I had maybe seen some of Norton’s more forgettable work like Keeping the Faith, but this was this movie that made me realize “damn, that dude is a good actor.” (Which makes it really suck that he’s rumored to be kind of an asshole.) Fight Club is one of those movies (and also book) that it’s good to revisit at different points in your life because your perspective on it changes but it never ceases to be engaging. There’s a certain appeal to Tyler’s “tear it all down” philosophy when you’re younger and a greater sympathy for the narrator’s “IKEA nesting instinct” when you’re a bit older. Not to mention that any film of David Fincher’s warrants repeat viewings because the man is a god damn master of technique. Fight Club features Fincher at his showiest, but not gratuitously. The material calls for a certain flair and Fincher delivers. I can’t at all say that Fight Club is the movie where Fincher hit his stride because Seven and The Game are both extraordinary films that predate this one. But with Fight Club he stood up and demanded to be noticed, and I for one most definitely took note. It’s a big hard to believe that anyone reading this hasn’t already seen the movie, but then again my girlfriend hadn’t and that’s what prompted this latest viewing. I would not make any asinine claim that everyone will like Fight Club, but I do think it’s one of those movie that your opinion of it will go a decent distance towards establishing what kind of moviegoer you are. Check it out.

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