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Fight Club (1999)

  Directed by: David Fincher
Written by: Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Uhls
Starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Edward Norton, Brad Pitt
Links: Fight Club on the IMDb, Buy on DVD, Buy the Soundtrack, Buy on Video
Genre: Drama

This movie gets: 9.50 (2 ratings)
nofreelist.com Ranking: Ranked equal 6th of 187 movies (2 ratings minimum; see full chart)

Fight Club (1999) is also mentioned in pearly's review of Focus (2001), pearly's review of The Backyard (2002), em_fiction's review of The Crying Game (1992) and mino's review of The Shawshank Redemption (1994).

"I am Jack's second movie review" - a review by em_fiction

If you fed Robin Williams a good dose of ecstasy, set him on fire and threw him into a Björk video clip, you probably still wouldn't get as much wildness and fury as Fight Club — an exhilarating, fast-paced explosion of a film. Everything from the rapid, out-zooming of the opening titles to the (literally) explosive ending, Fight Club undoubtedly sets a new standard for both innovative and stimulating cinema.

The story is told by a nameless character (Edward Norton) going through a mid-life crisis. And what a great life he has: living in an insomnia-driven lifestyle with no real conventional circadian pattern, working a dead-end job in a stuffy office with the typical pain-in-the-ass boss, and having a compulsive tendency to buy IKEA furniture. Then he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), the epitomy of everything he isn't: good-looking, smart, tough and engulfed with fuck-off attitute.

Now here's a brain-teaser: what do you get if you cross a whimsical nutcase, a desperate insomniac and a crackpot idea? You get fight club. That is, a club where blokes can go to basically beat the living shit out of one another... for fun! Yep, pearly was right, ingenious indeed. The popularity of fight club increases tenfold and ends up becoming an unstoppable franchise. From fight club, the two inventors partner up to start a revolution involving mayhem and soap, while being tantalised by a seductive eccentric, Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), whose smoking would cause a chimney to call the Quit helpline.

From its very opening frame to its very final credit, Fight Club keeps you glued to the screen so tightly that it's almost as if some magical force has come out and pulled Ludivico's Technique on you. David Fincher, the brilliant man behind the brilliant Se7en (1995), maintains the film's style and energy as if it were a lifeforce — the vivid, hallucinatory and perfectly timed events unfold like a flip-book. The aid of extremely well used CGI creates an overlay of intoxicating fantasy in this deprived city, and Norton's narration gives the film a lively pulse.

The script, adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, is both hilarious and profound, played out by one of the best trios in film history. Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, already excellent actors, give oustandingly charismatic performances; Pitt on par with his previous efforts in Se7en and 12 Monkeys (1995), while Norton demonstrates maximum acting capacity, undoubtedly in his slickest role and in my opinion, playing one of the slickest characters ever. And of course, Helena Bohnam Carter, one of the few actresses brash enough to be able to convincingly take on the role of woman packed with as much attitude as the fellas.

Ah, there really isn't much else I can say without repeating the sorta praise from above. I'm sure you get the idea: Fight Club is one hell of a film.

em_fiction gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review last updated on Thu 17 Jun 2004

"I am Jack's movie review" - a review by pearly

Wow. A movie where the two lead male actors are Edward Norton and Brad Pitt - could this be a casting decision from the gods? Well, with David Fincher directing, yes, it could. Before you even sit down to watch the opening credits, the bar is pretty damned high.

And I, for one, am not disappointed. It's about a guy (Norton) who is sick of his corporate-working IKEA-furniture-buying lifestyle. So, when he happens upon single-serving friend Tyler Durdan (Pitt), he heads down a life-changing path, forming a fight club, where guys can come along and bash each other up. Ingenious!

Fight Club rests on the back of its wonderful script. Edward Norton gets the particularly nice job of narrating the story; the words he is given to say are so clever and humorous - he must have loved saying them. Norton is also lucky enough to get nice and cosy with Meat Loaf's man-boobs (in one of the funniest roles I have seen Mr Loaf in). And we can't forget Brad Pitt, whose character reminded me a lot of his character in 12 Monkeys (1995), and Helena Bonham Carter, who casually strolls through her performance and does well as pretty much the only female in the piece.

Fight Club is, well, perhaps revolutionary is too big of a word, but something similar to that. It doesn't try too hard to be cool, but it manages to pull it off anyway. There are sections where the characters are speaking or gesturing directly to the audience, but this doesn't stop them from seeming real. Tyler Durdan is like a modern-day prophet - some of the time anyway.

This is a movie you'll want to see more than once, if only because as you're watching it, you realise that you're missing stuff you don't wanna miss. Great acting, great direction, great script, great everything.

pearly gives this movie 9 out of 10.
Review created on Wed 31 Jul 2002

Movie review statistics

Number of reviews: 2
Average rating: 9.50
Lowest rating: 9 (by pearly)
Highest rating: 10 (by em_fiction)
 
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Reader comments

  1. one of the best movies out there

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from kljm on Wed 10 Nov 2004 15:23 #

  2. This is one of the best films that I´ve ever seen!

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from 1337 on Wed 24 Nov 2004 00:14 #

  3. perfect

    Rating given: 10

    A comment from temel on Thu 18 May 2006 04:19 #

Those who have commented give this movie: 10.00 (3 ratings)

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