Fight Club (1999) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion. Runtime: 139 mins Release Date: 14 Oct 1999
Fight Club is one of the most unique films I have ever seen. In addition to presenting a rather fresh take on life, FC also presents its material in a fresh way. My main interest in the film is in that, in my opinion, it does not present characters for us to think about. Rather, it presents actions for us to think about. I will say that I cannot recall *ever* having been "asked" by a film to both suspend my disbelief the way this film asks in its third act AND at the same time come to terms with an understanding that there is no room--or need--for disbelief.Perhaps these comments <more>
will not make sense to the average movie goer who will dismiss this film--and, unfortunately, its premise--as another hollywood flick filled with gratuitous violence. I'd go as far as to say that this film is not about violence. It is about choices. It is about activity. It is about lethargy. It is about waking up and realizing that at some point in the past we've gone to the toilet and thrown up our dreams without even realizing that society has stuck its fingers down our throat.I would argue that anyone caught, at some point in their lives, between a rock and a hard place--anyone who has reached bottom on a mental level--anyone who has uttered to themselves "Wait, this isn't right. I would not do/say/feel what it is that I just did/said/felt... I do not like this. I must change before I am forever stuck being the person that I am not." These people, they will know what I'm talking about. These people will not only recognize the similarities between Edward Norton's character and themselves--they will be uncomfortably familiar with him. These people will appreciate Fight Club for what it is: a wake up call that we are not alone.As David Berman once said: "I'm afraid I've got more in common with who I was than who I am becoming." If this sentence makes any sense to you, go see Fight Club. You won't regret it.L.
a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens. (by dr. gonzo)
"Fight Club" an aggressive, confrontational, often brutal satire that is quite possibly a brilliant masterpiece. Taking the "Choose life," anti-consumerism rant at the beginning of "Trainspotting," and carrying it to its logical -- albeit extreme -- conclusion this is a big budget, mainstream film that takes a lot of risks by biting the hand that feeds it. The film's narrator Edward Norton is an insignificant cog in the drab, corporate machine, dutifully doing his job and what he's told without question. He's an insomniac slave to his IKEA <more>
possessions and only finds joy in going to as many self-help/dealing with terminal diseases sessions as he can. It provides him with an escape from his sleepless nights. That is, until Marla Singer Helena Bonham Carter , a trashy chain-smoking poser, enters his life and upsets his routine. The narrator also meets Tyler Durden Brad Pitt , a charismatic soap salesman whose straightforward honesty, candor and sleazy lounge-lizard outfits are a breath of fresh air. One night, after the two men have bonded over beers, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. At first, it seems like an absurd request but after they pound on each other for a bit, a strange feeling overcomes them. They feel a kind of release and satisfaction at inflicting pain on one another. In a world where people are desensitized to everything around them, the physical contact of fighting wakes them up and makes them feel truly alive. Others soon join in and pretty soon Fight Club becomes an underground sensation. However, it becomes readily apparent that Tyler has more elaborate plans than just organizing brawls at the local bar. David Fincher has taken the dark, pessimistic worldview of "Seven" and married it with the clever plot twists and turns of "The Game" and assembled his strongest effort to date. "Fight Club" is a $50+ million studio film that remains true to its anti-consumer, anti-society, anti-everything message -- right up to the last, sneaky subliminal frame. What makes "Fight Club" a subversive delight is not only its refreshing anti-corporate message but how it delivers said message. As Fincher has explained in interviews, you don't really watch the film but rather download it. Its structure is extremely playful as it messes around with linear time to an incredible degree. The narrative bounces back and forth all over the place like a novel, or surfing on the Internet -- even making a hilarious dead stop to draw attention to itself in a funny, interesting way that completely works. Yet Norton's deadpanned narration holds everything together and allows the viewer to get a handle on what's happening. This is the way films should be made. Why must we always have to go through the A+B+C formula? "Fight Club" openly rejects this tired, clearly outdated structure in favour of a stylized frenzy of jump cuts, freeze frames, slow motion and every other film technique in the book that only reinforces its anarchistic message. A film like this would have never been greenlighted by a major studio if Brad Pitt had not been attached to the project. Once you see the film, it becomes obvious that he was the only choice for Tyler Durden. Like he did with "Kalifornia" and "Twelve Monkeys", Pitt grunges himself down and disappears completely into his role to a frighteningly convincing degree. During many of the brutal fight scenes, he is transformed into a bloody, pulpy mess that'll surely have the "Legends of the Fall" fans running for the exits. It is an incredible performance -- probably his best -- for the simple fact that he becomes the character so completely. If Pitt has the flashy, gonzo role, Edward Norton is his perfect foil as the seemingly meek yet sardonic narrator. It's a deceptively understated performance as the last third of the film reveals but Norton nails it perfectly. He is clearly our surrogate, our introduction into this strange world and his wry observations on our consumer-obsessed culture are right on the money. They are the perfect setup for Tyler's introduction and his view on the world which is clearly a call to arms of sorts, a manifesto that rejects the notion that we are what we own. And ultimately, that is what "Fight Club" tries to do. The film is a cinematic punch to the head as it challenges the status quo and offers a wakeup call to people immersed in a materialistic world where those who have the most stuff, "win." I think that Fincher's film wants us to tear all that down, reject corporate monsters like Starbucks and Blockbuster, and try to figure out what we really want out of life. It's almost as if the film is suggesting salvation through self-destruction. And it is these thought-provoking ideas that makes "Fight Club" a dangerously brilliant film that entertains as well as enlightens.
It doesn't get much better than this (by Dante Hicks)
Similar in idea to 'American Beauty' but certainly not in style or content this bleak look at underground culture and the spiritual redemption it brings is easily one of the most intelligent films I've ever seen. Directed by the same man who brought us the superb 'The Game' this is another film which you'll have to see more than once to truly understand. Focusing on sad white-collar, middle-class Norton whose only real dream in life is to own all the contents of an IKEA catalogue it follows him through a chance meeting with charismatic stranger Pitt and the unfortunate <more>
events which conspire to draw them together. After a nights hard drinking they start a friendly-ish scrap which is viewed by a couple of others and from that small acorn a mighty oak called Fight Club grows. This is the point around which the whole film revolves with Norton and Pitt forming an underground club which draws more and more disillusioned young men to join it. Based on firm 'Queensbury Rules' it is a cathartic if bloody way to spend your night. Eventually as it becomes a huge operation Pitt, the de facto leader, moves it up a gear and creates his own cult from this secret society. This is where the film becomes brilliant and the twist near the end is magnificent, better even than the much talked about 'The Sixth Sense'. It just has so much to say about things: the emasculation of an entire generation of young men "No great war to fight, no great depression" , the growing isolation we all feel from one another and the need to find something to draw us back together and most importantly, the power of an exciting, challenging idea and it's fermentation into cultism. However, where many films would just say 'This is a bad thing' 'Fight Club' doesn't. It is more a condemnation of a materialistic society which has forgotten about a large section of itself. You can empathise with these men completely, even when they band together against this uncaring society that has reared them to be something their instincts don't understand. It's as close to genius as you'll get and one film you'll talk about and think about for days.
Brilliant Direction and Superb Acting (by camiloarenivar)
Fight Club is a brash slap in the face of consumerism and the working dead. It questions reality. It is strikingly thought provoking and visually stimulating. The direction is incredibly brilliant. Director David Fincher Aliens, Se7en and The Game is at his finest here warping both space and time, dropping in things here and there to make things clear. Edward Norton is excellent as Jack, the narrator of the movie. He is a nerdy insomniac who catalog shops at Ikea and has a going nowhere job. Brad Pitt is dynamic as Tyler Durden, an anarchistic man who lives in a run-down abandoned house and <more>
makes and sells soap for a living. Helen Bonham Carter is also great as Marla Singer, the manic-depressive chain-smoking woman in both their lives. Her role is critical and she plays it well.There has been some controversy about the violence in this film but it is not gratuitous violence, it is part of the story and serves it well. It is much less than what you would see in your average Hollywood blockbuster. This is actually an insightful film and in many ways similar to American Beauty, although this film is much more in your face about it's message. If you are squeamish, you may not want to see it. There are some very painful bloody scenes, but if you can stomach it, then check it out. There is also a huge twist in this film that almost rivals the twist at the end of The Sixth Sense. And I must admit, it is the twist in this film that made me really love it. The best audience for this film is men in their 20's or 30's, but anyone that can appreciate film as a modern art should like it. One of the best films of 1999.
Spoilers herein Films like this frustrate. This is so competent, so engaging that I curse it for wasting the chance to say something memorable, or important or perhaps both.What's good is the way that they've solved the `narrator problem.' here, the narrator has imagined the hero we find out , which is rather clever. We become cocreater of the hero because the narrator has cast the whole film as a conversation with us to explain the last scene which we see in flashback at the beginning of the film. Along the way, we are reminded that we are messing with the film, and the film <more>
with us. This latter goes so far as to have the hero work as a projectionist, explaining cigarette burns. He inserts subliminal pornography, which we see throughout with a longer, more noticeable flash toward the end. When we find out about Pitt's non-existence, it is underscored by images on `video.' Add to that the inherently cinematic nature of voyeuristic personal violence, and this film has us captured.When we return to the last scene, Pitt tells us that the whole thing is `flashback humor,' the most strongly selfreferential trick I know in film. Obviously, the self-referential notion of narrator is the reason for this film. That's why Ed Norton bought the film rights to `Motherless Brooklyn,' which exploits a similar experiment in the narrative mystery. In that case, the narrator has Tourette's.So the film competently captures us, and then what? A wasted opportunity. My major complaint is that this film meant nothing, imparted nothing, only thumbed its nose as if to say: I can capture you as easily as the doofuses in the story and for just as capricious a reason. We deserve better. You with talent should do better.Lesser complaints:Norton and Pitt are excellent, though Pitt has much the simpler requirement. Why waste Helena Bonham Carter? She's got the moxie; she's been memorable before. I think the director just didn't know how to use her beyond a vapid sullenness. Another wasted opportunity.Narrative tricks like this are best when they follow the detective story `play-fair' model. This is what `The Sixth Sense' does. On a second viewing of that film, everything works, but with new information. More, some minor problems become clearer. Not so with this film. The writers have played too fast and loose with motivations. It is rather in the `oh, that was a dream' or the `oh, time travel reversed that' category. And it could have been tidier in this regard without messing anything up.Most every scene was weird a good because it ran against short-term expectations. But the scene where Lou and thug visit the fight club is pure stereotype, and predictable. Why?I wish the last scene were more, more something. This is where it really begins to hit you that the whole thing was motivated by an illusion, with as much effect.Bottom line: this film is so good, and its makers so talented that should be held to higher standards. I give it a 9 for competence. You should see it for that reason. But it has no purpose.
A woman needs to speak up for Helena Bonham Carter's incredible acting performance in this movie. Because it's guys who post for the film she's been overlooked because no man can relate to how anti-female this woman is and how far from the real Helena. Women who can treat random sex and despicable grunge as a natural and casual form of life have gone off the path somewhere and this girl isn't looking for redemption. She embraces the strange as normal and rejects the comfortable and pretty as the aberrations. Few other actresses could have achieved the level of intense <more>
hyperactivity and abandon Helena captures here. So much so that she sinks into the movie like a dead body into a sewer and has been ignored on these boards thus far.
Having just watched this film, I honestly can't believe it is ranked in the top 250....let alone in the top 10! Don't get me wrong this film was good but I just can't see why it is rated so highly. If there's only 9 films supposedly better than this then I have lost all faith in the IMDb rating system.After all I had heard about this I was expecting an absolute classic, which is what it is being classed as. With that expectation it fell horribly short. For me this is just worth a one time watch and is a decent 7/10 movie at best.I thought this was supposed to be FIGHT Club, <more>
well there was very little fighting or action. The drama was good and did keep me gripped for quite a long time but then when the twist came it was just stupid. Maybe it's just not for me.7/10.
Why can't they make more movie likes this? (by cmoi2c)
The writing is brilliant, the voice of the "Narrator" is honest and the acting is just right. Norton and Pitt make such a great team, I wonder when they are going to make their next movie. And the comments about consumerist society ring very true, even though we probably won't admit it to ourselves because it's a shell of comfort that even we ourselves are not ready to shed.The plot isn't too heavy, and the reveal at the end progresses perfectly. I'd take a twist ending like this one and "The Usual Suspects" over the twist in the next M. Night Shyamalan <more>
It's a story about violence as an answer to human's in-conformism and emptiness. (by r-bunci)
The film is good, but not excellent. What is excellent is Edward Norton's performance. He's a very good actor, and in this film, he just did it again. I'm not really convinced about Pitt's acting. I don't know if the director's intentions with Pitt was to show his famous muscles. This movie was not about to be the sequel of Troy! While Norton captivated the attention running with ridiculous underwear and a beaten face, Pitt appeared to be a god with a perfect body and with a not very beaten face, given the circumstances. It seems that the leading role was assigned to <more>
Pitt, but Norton is the one who deserves it. But it's a very interesting film.