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Fight Club (1999)

DVD Cover (Twentieth Century Fox)
Genres:
Black Comedy, Comedy Drama, Psychological Drama, Satire
Director:
David Fincher David Fincher
Starring:
Edward Norton Edward Norton
Brad Pitt Brad Pitt
Helena Bonham Carter Helena Bonham Carter
Meat Loaf Meat Loaf
Zach Grenier Zach Grenier

8.4 / 10 - Overall Rating

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Review by bluemeanie
Added: May 30, 2007
David Fincher is a great director. He has a visual style that is virtually unmatched by anyone else out there in Hollywood working today. "Se7en" pretty much re-invented the serial killer genre; "The Game" was a mind fuck of monumental proportions. "Panic Room" made an action film cool again. And "Zodiac" just rocked ass. One of his most popular films has been "Fight Club". There are actual groups and organizations devoted to this film and what they think it means how they think it's a philosophical statement. There are people who worship this film. Now, I know this is going to make me the unpopular kid on the block and I know that I might be in the minority, but I really don't care and have learned to be on that side. "Fight Club" is overrated. Very overrated.

The plot is simple: an ordinary Joe (Edward Norton) meets a soap salesman (Brad Pitt), and together they start an organization that allows men to vent their anger and resentment against the world by beating the shit out of each other in vacant lots, outside bars -- anywhere the mood and violence strikes them. They also both meet and fall for Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), at her trashy best. There is a tension between Norton and Pitt throughout the entire film, and the ending just comes out of nowhere but makes perfect sense and was one of those films that had audiences reeling from shock, having to see the film a second time to try and pick up things they might have missed the first. Edward Norton narrates the film also.

I could go into the psychological exploration of the characters. I could go into how "Fight Club" is a metaphor for numerous different aspects of society. I would, but it's bullshit. Fincher is a visual director. "Fight Club" is a visual film. That's why it works. It's well written, well acted and well balanced. If people want to invent shit about the film to make themselves feel better -- so be it. But people need to stop amping this film up to be a hell of a lot more than it is. Compared to Fincher's other work, it's nothing special. It's on par with "Se7en" and "Panic Room", and it's a damned good film, but that's it. Nothing miraculous. Certainly not a masterpiece, by any means. I give kudos to Fincher for making as grungy a film as I have seen, and I give him credit for making the narrative style of the film pop with zeal and excitement. He knows how not to bore an audience, and that is a true gift.

So don't think I'm giving the film a negative review. I'm not. I love "Fight Club". I love how normal Edward Norton is when he describes his furniture being out of the Ikea catalogue. I love Brad Pitt being all over the place insane. I love Helena Bonham Carter looking trashy as shit and acting the same. I love Meatloaf as Bitch Tits Bob. That was a genius casting choice. This is a good film, but it's not a great one. It's a film I can watch over and over again because the narrative style is so pleasing, but it's not a film I tell people they just have to see. "Se7en" is. "Panic Room" is. Now, I would say "Zodiac" is. "Fight Club" is in the middle of the pack of Fincher's films, for me. That might make me unpopular, but hey -- wanna fight about it? 7/10.
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BuryMeAlive #1: BuryMeAlive - added 05/30/2007, 06:33 PM
Hardly overrate, it's easy one of the best movie ever. Well, in my opinion, I don't want to fight about it. And it's "Ikea", not "A".
bluemeanie #2: bluemeanie - added 05/30/2007, 06:38 PM
My apologies. "Ikea". Typo. Still overrated. "Life is very short and there's no time for fussing and fighting my friend."
Cryptorchild #3: Cryptorchild - added 05/30/2007, 07:54 PM
If you think about it, every "cult" film is over-rated to one degree or another. I personally ejoyed this movie alot. I don't think it's the best movie ever made but it is fun to watch. I thought the acting from Bard Pitt and Edward Norton was great. And I also loved the narration (sp?). All in all, I'd give it a 9/10.
Chad #4: Chad - added 05/30/2007, 08:39 PM
Typo fixed. No comment about the movie, as I kinda sorta haven't seen it - well, I saw the last fifteen minutes on HBO one night and since I had the ending ruined for me, I figured it wasn't worth going back and watching it again.
cky2kendall #5: cky2kendall - added 05/31/2007, 10:43 AM
This review has some of the strangest Recommended Movies I've ever seen. As for the movie itself, I think it's very good and has a nice clever plot, but I do agree that it is overrated to an extent. It does the book justice in my opinion, and it is a very enjoyable watch. 8/10
Chad #6: Chad - added 05/31/2007, 12:01 PM
The recommended movies are based on movies you've rated that are similar to this, and since you haven't really rated too many, the recommendations are going to be all over the place until the system can figure out what you enjoy.
bluemeanie #7: bluemeanie - added 05/31/2007, 01:02 PM
Yeah...I can't tell you the last time I felt the need for a "Lucas" and "Requiem for A Dream" double feature.
Chad #8: Chad - added 05/31/2007, 01:17 PM
Go rate some more movies and it'll improve (and you'll also improve the stats pages, which - coincidentally - have just been redesigned and recoded).

But for the record, that would be an awesome combo.
Crispy #9: Crispy - added 05/31/2007, 01:37 PM
Personally, I was loving the beginning of this movie. Once it switched over I kind of lost interest.
Vash #10: Vash - added 05/31/2007, 09:09 PM
hm. where to begin. for one, panic room sucked. for another, its kind of silly to say a movie has no subtext and is all visual simply because a lot of people relate things to it that are somewhat stupid. its only overrated if it doesnt live up to its hype, which it does. shakespeare is overrated, that doesnt mean you cant find subtext within hamlet. [for the record, no, i am not comparing fight club to hamlet, please dont say anything about that.] anyway, i think this was a gross oversimplification of the movie, and im not gonna say that you missed the point because i know you know your shit, im just saying the review didn't really convey what the plot was really about, although you seem to think that it isn't about much. i dunno if you've read the book, but the entire thing is a commentary on a number of aspects of society as well as the human [i guess mostly just male] mind. yeah, the movie is definitely great just on visuals alone, but thats only BECAUSE it conveys so many different things at once, and that is why people watch it so many times. not just to see the tyler flashes, its to see what it's saying.

i know its somewhat futile and redundant to defend a movie that is already hailed as THE movie of our time, especially if you weren't even trashing it. im just saying, there's a lot more to it than what the review let on. another thing worth mentioning is that its one of the VERY few movies that manages to adapt its source material in a way that's not only faithful, but it manages to be just as good, or better, than the novel. it's the first - and, honestly, only - film that comes to mind where i can say it's equally good as the book, just on very different levels.

anyway. please dont go on and on about how im an idiot for whatever reason, im just saying. people say evil dead is over rated, that doesn't make it any less awesome, does it?



...seriously, panic room sucked. se7en rules, though.
bluemeanie #11: bluemeanie - added 06/01/2007, 12:35 AM
I don't think you're an idiot for liking "Fight Club". As for it being 'the definitive movie of our time', well that is up to interpretation and most 'Top 10' or 'Top 25' lists for that matter that I see for movies in the 1990's do NOT include "Fight Club". They include "The Blair Witch Project", "Se7en", "Schindler's List", "Jurassic Park", "Fargo", "Pulp Ficton" -- those possibly. Not "Fight Club". And I am in the majority on that one.

After I saw the film, I read the book -- years ago. The book was amazing. A perfect blend of satire and drama and internal narrative. It rocked. The film did not carry over the entire essence of the book and that disappointed me.

I can find subtext in any film. But that doesn't make the subtext remarkable. And just because a film is overrated does imply, by definition alone, that it is slightly less awesome. I saw "Fight Club" its opening weekend. I thought it was a good film, but not great. The hype picked up and my opinion stayed the same. It's 2007 now and you rarely hear people talking about how they 'watched "Fight Club" again'. Its time has come and gone.
Kain #12: Kain - added 06/03/2007, 09:14 PM
I fear that as per usual, the morons of the world have ruined this film for many. Due to the testosterone injecting, football humping, iron-laden musle bearing oafs of the world who, unfortunately, tout this film on their sleeve as the biblical and inarguable reference to all things that are right and good in the world of men, this film has garnered something of a bad reputation. There are those of us that are obligated to look down upon such people and sneer, especially since they are the very mindless space monkies featured in the story itself. The case, I believe, still stands, however, that the film truly does satirically speak worlds for a generation who is truly lost and damned in the sense of what Homo sapiens sapiens once was vs. what it has become. Anyone with capable, open eyes who is not drunk on the 'blessings' of our culture can see where we've so arrogantly gone awry, and as cliche as it has become to say these things, I think rarely even do those who utter such cliches truly understand them. Now do I agree that Durden did sound a bit like "Nietzsche for Dummies" as so many cynics and critics have claimed? Sure, but this film did not do amazing in the box office for what it was, and add an overwhelming intellectual exploration of the Ubermensch, and we have a flop because, let's face it, the vast majority of our country, nay, our world, is anything but a compilation of bright bulbs, lest we wouldn't find ourselves in a social situation that such a film could satirize. Whew. Now, as far as a movie adaptation of a novel featuring a person with DID, I think Fincher did an exquisite job (for those of you who haven't seen the film, don't look up that acronym), and I would consider this one of my favorite films of all time (considering my views on this world). But hey, meanie is right, he didn't give it a negative review, and there are inherent flaws in the film. But hey, why bitch? This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time...
-KAIN
bluemeanie #13: bluemeanie - added 06/04/2007, 04:40 PM
Why bitch? My good man, that is what critics do.
Kain #14: Kain - added 06/05/2007, 01:07 PM
Yes, it certainly would seem that way, wouldn't it...
Danington138 #15: Danington138 - added 06/30/2007, 11:20 PM
Favorite movie of all time
Vash #16: Vash - added 07/02/2007, 12:15 PM
i wouldn't even consider it a "90s" movie though, it came out right at the end of 1999. obviously people won't have it on their top ten lists, the majority of the people that saw it had seen it after its theatrical run anyway. same with the matrix, it represents everything that came after it not what came before it.
Griffinheart #17: Griffinheart - added 09/03/2007, 01:54 PM
I'd rank this a little bit higher: 8/10 seems about right. But, for anyone that hasn't read the book, please do so. It shows a different viewpoint than the movie and even has a completely different, though equally good, ending (that I absolutely can't remember at the moment).
EVIL TWIN #18: EVIL TWIN - added 12/13/2007, 02:28 PM
there was so much bad press about this film at the time, sat down and watched and it totally blown away. Its the mark of a good film when the film has finished your sat there totally spellbond. Was not what i was expected 10/10
AttnDefDis #19: AttnDefDis - added 07/20/2009, 11:16 AM
This movie is flawless. The story line, the acting and oh yeah, the fact that you get to see Jared Leto, Edward Norton and Brad Pitt all shirtless and bare-knuckle brawling and one time or another doesn't hurt either. Meatloaf and Helena Bonham Carter were also enjoyable. Even the Pixies song at the end was a perfect fit. 10/10
Lucid Dreams #20: Lucid Dreams - added 08/28/2010, 10:32 PM
Pretty damn good and I still need to read the damn book. The only thing that was good about seeing Jared Leto was when his face was beaten in. 8/10
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