Fight Club

Film

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Time Out says

This is not an action movie, but a cerebral comedy - which is to say, an ideas movie. Some of those ideas are startling, provocative, transgressive, even subversive. They're also pretty funny. It goes like this: Norton used to be an upwardly mobile urban professional; now, he's pallid, neurotic and unhappy. Then he bumps into Tyler Durden (Pitt), his apartment blows up, and everything changes. Gaudy and amoral, Tyler's an id kind of guy: living on the edge is the only way he knows to feel alive. Pitt's raw physical grace embodies everything his alter ego has lost touch with; they trade body blows for fun, and you can sense the gain in the pain. Their 'club' draws emasculates from across the city; under Tyler's subtle guidance, the group evolves into an anarchist movement. The film wobbles alarmingly at this point, then rallies for the kind of coup de grâce that sends you reeling. Jim Uhls' cold, clever screenplay, from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, is a millennial mantra of seditious agit prop. Shot in a convulsive, stream-of-unconsciousness style, with disruptive subliminals, freeze frames and fantasy cutaways, the film does everything short of rattling your seat to get a reaction. You can call that irresponsible. Or you can call it the only essential Hollywood film of 1999.
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Release details

UK release:

1999

Duration:

139 mins

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<strong>Rating: </strong><span class='lf-avgRating'>0</span>/5

Average User Rating

4.2 / 5

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Thebuckduck

Having a dark sense of humor, I genuinely love this film. You begin with Jack, or simply "the Narrater" who has essentially destroyed both his ability to feel and his identity. He's so desperate to feel that he attends group therapy sessions for people who are/were seriously Ill. When he describe red another fraud, the sincerity of what he got from these sessions was completely compromised, and he is reduced back to his lifeless pathetic self. He meets a guy named Tyler Durden on a plane on his way home from a business trip. Well after this, his perfect little ikea furnished apartment conveniently explodes. This is where things get interesting. The narrator reconnects with Durden and they beat the shit out of each other. This acts as emotional release for Jack and he begins to put his faith in Durden as his salvation, and they open a "Fight Club" for men in similar situations as the Narrater. What many people don't realize is that the fighting is basically the pupa state of the Narrater's mental transformation. That meaning that this is the stage of the film in which the two main characters begin to switch roles. In the beginning of the Narrater's tale, it's almost as if Durden needs him. He needs someone who is emotionally dead, and in the worst possible lapis in life, someone with literally nothing to lose or live for, to entertain his wild and savage ideals. Slowly Durden takes control of the Narrater's life, and becomes the dominant character out if the two. He does so by convincing the Narrater that the only true way to live life is as a wild, unhindered man. Slowly the Narrater becomes immersed in this primeval lifestyle, that he begins to need Durden. Durden, a very ingenious type of parasite, now has his "host" completely dependent on his insane ideals and practices. Through the fighting itself the Narrater feels more and more relief from his insomnia and other problems, which causes him to continually put more faith in Durden's ideals. He begins looking to Durden as a savior Esc figure. Durden leads the Narrater further down the path of chaos when he shows him how he makes soap, and discloses that he knows how to make homemade explosives. At this point we begin to see Durden more than the Narrater, mainly because the Narrater has begun to become Durden. There's a very bizarre sex sequence a bit later in the movie, that serves to touch on three things: one is Tyler's unquenchable desire to take advantage of people, two, is to reveal how truly obsessed the Narrater is with Durden, and three is to set up conflict between the female lead, and the Narrater. The Narrater becomes so immersed in all of this that he doesn't seem to notice that things are changing. Tyler had started fight clubs all around the country, converting people to his cause, and rallying members for his true plot, project mayhem. The Narrater becomes infuriated and demands answers, however everyone simply says that he told them not to tell him anything. Exasperated, the Narrater goes on a nation wide hunt for Tyler Durden, on which he is told that he IS Tyler Durden. Thus the entire purpose of the entire "shaky" "unnecessary" Project Mayhem Act is to build up a feeling of distrust and betrayal in the Narrater, which leads him to find out that he IS Tyler Durden, and that he himself had been completely engulfed by this persona. After this we find ourselves bak into the room with Durden holding a gun in the Narrater's mouth. This represents the struggle of two different personalities of a man. A mental battle the inflicts real physical pain. The winner of this fight will completely engulf the other, and be the only remaking personality. The Narrater Acknowledges this and shoots himself, with what he believed was a loaded gun. Instead of killing himself physically. He symbolically killed both Durden and the Narrater, and is reborn as Jack. Overall incredible movie that constantly grows and evolves, until it reaches a n incredibly intense climax, and leaves you wondering what exactly is the message? That is perhaps the best thing about the movie, is that it leaves the audience with things to ponder.

Thebuckduck

Having a dark sense of humor, I genuinely love this film. You begin with Jack, or simply "the Narrater" who has essentially destroyed both his ability to feel and his identity. He's so desperate to feel that he attends group therapy sessions for people who are/were seriously Ill. When he describe red another fraud, the sincerity of what he got from these sessions was completely compromised, and he is reduced back to his lifeless pathetic self. He meets a guy named Tyler Durden on a plane on his way home from a business trip. Well after this, his perfect little ikea furnished apartment conveniently explodes. This is where things get interesting. The narrator reconnects with Durden and they beat the shit out of each other. This acts as emotional release for Jack and he begins to put his faith in Durden as his salvation, and they open a "Fight Club" for men in similar situations as the Narrater. What many people don't realize is that the fighting is basically the pupa state of the Narrater's mental transformation. That meaning that this is the stage of the film in which the two main characters begin to switch roles. In the beginning of the Narrater's tale, it's almost as if Durden needs him. He needs someone who is emotionally dead, and in the worst possible lapis in life, someone with literally nothing to lose or live for, to entertain his wild and savage ideals. Slowly Durden takes control of the Narrater's life, and becomes the dominant character out if the two. He does so by convincing the Narrater that the only true way to live life is as a wild, unhindered man. Slowly the Narrater becomes immersed in this primeval lifestyle, that he begins to need Durden. Durden, a very ingenious type of parasite, now has his "host" completely dependent on his insane ideals and practices. Through the fighting itself the Narrater feels more and more relief from his insomnia and other problems, which causes him to continually put more faith in Durden's ideals. He begins looking to Durden as a savior Esc figure. Durden leads the Narrater further down the path of chaos when he shows him how he makes soap, and discloses that he knows how to make homemade explosives. At this point we begin to see Durden more than the Narrater, mainly because the Narrater has begun to become Durden. There's a very bizarre sex sequence a bit later in the movie, that serves to touch on three things: one is Tyler's unquenchable desire to take advantage of people, two, is to reveal how truly obsessed the Narrater is with Durden, and three is to set up conflict between the female lead, and the Narrater. The Narrater becomes so immersed in all of this that he doesn't seem to notice that things are changing. Tyler had started fight clubs all around the country, converting people to his cause, and rallying members for his true plot, project mayhem. The Narrater becomes infuriated and demands answers, however everyone simply says that he told them not to tell him anything. Exasperated, the Narrater goes on a nation wide hunt for Tyler Durden, on which he is told that he IS Tyler Durden. Thus the entire purpose of the entire "shaky" "unnecessary" Project Mayhem Act is to build up a feeling of distrust and betrayal in the Narrater, which leads him to find out that he IS Tyler Durden, and that he himself had been completely engulfed by this persona. After this we find ourselves bak into the room with Durden holding a gun in the Narrater's mouth. This represents the struggle of two different personalities of a man. A mental battle the inflicts real physical pain. The winner of this fight will completely engulf the other, and be the only remaking personality. The Narrater Acknowledges this and shoots himself, with what he believed was a loaded gun. Instead of killing himself physically. He symbolically killed both Durden and the Narrater, and is reborn as Jack. Overall incredible movie that constantly grows and evolves, until it reaches a n incredibly intense climax, and leaves you wondering what exactly is the message? That is perhaps the best thing about the movie, is that it leaves the audience with things to ponder.

John Cooper

This is the sort of film which film reviewers relish. Subversive, essentially cerebral and multi--layered. Edward Norton's anarchical anti-hero is fleshed out with Brat Pitt's raw sex appeal. In a modern Kafkaesque setting the enemy is the system which emasculates and alienates. Fight Club is the metaphor for a return to a primal world of male violence with its alphadog brutality. But despite its invention and originality, Fight Club is not an easy film to watch. It's too bizarre! Both Norton and Pitt do their best to lighten the bleakness with off-beat humour . . . but they never enlist the viewers' sympathies . .. The characters are ideas rather than individuals. In fact it's the only woman in the film, Helena Bonham Carter with her totally convincing American accent who almost manages to portray a real live human being. I'm afraid I can't enthuse about a film which remains obstinately diffuse and nihilistic. However one must applaud the film's attempts to try to deal with the plight of the American male whose wholesome physicality is pinned down by bureaucracy and restrictive social and cultural conditioning. But it's too dark, too grotesque and too confusing . . and in the end, has nowhere to go.

John Cooper

This is the sort of film which film reviewers relish. Subversive, essentially cerebral and multi--layered. Edward Norton's anarchical anti-hero is fleshed out with Brat Pitt's raw sex appeal. In a modern Kafkaesque setting the enemy is the system which emasculates and alienates. Fight Club is the metaphor for a return to a primal world of male violence with its alphadog brutality. But despite its invention and originality, Fight Club is not an easy film to watch. It's too bizarre! Both Norton and Pitt do their best to lighten the bleakness with off-beat humour . . . but they never enlist the viewers' sympathies . .. The characters are ideas rather than individuals. In fact it's the only woman in the film, Helena Bonham Carter with her totally convincing American accent who almost manages to portray a real live human being. I'm afraid I can't enthuse about a film which remains obstinately diffuse and nihilistic. However one must applaud the film's attempts to try to deal with the plight of the American male whose wholesome physicality is pinned down by bureaucracy and restrictive social and cultural conditioning. But it's too dark, too grotesque and too confusing . . and in the end, has nowhere to go.