Fight Club (1999)

fight club poster 1999 movie
9.5 Overall Score
Story: 9/10
Acting: 9/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great movie

Somewhat dangerous messaging, the violence and the twist might be too much for some

Movie Info

Movie Name:  Fight Club

Studio:  Regency Enterprises

Genre(s):  Drama/Action/Adventure

Release Date(s):  October 15, 1999

MPAA Rating:  R

fight club edward norton fights himself

Ever feel like your job is beating you up?

Fighting is a way of life and there is a new outlet for fighting in a society…Fight Club.  The secret underground group is gaining popularity and its founder (Edward Norton) and a mysterious stranger named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) are behind the up-and-coming phenomena.  Tyler has other plans for Fight Club however and his relationship with another addict named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) could change Fight Club forever…and in turn change the world!

Directed by David Fincher, Fight Club is a satire drama film.  It is an adaptation of the 1996 novel by Chuck Palahniuk.  The movie was met with mixed to positive reviews and average box office return, but since its release has become more of a cultural phenomenon and cult classic.  The film received an Academy Award nomination for Best Sound Effects Editing.

fight club marla helena bonham carter edward norton

“I want bowel cancer!”

I luckily saw Fight Club in the theater when it was released but I have seen it many times since.  Fight Club is an great movie because you can watch it multiple times and see new message and stories.  The movie however is one of those movies, I’d consider a “dangerous” movie because in the wrong hands, the message could be taken to heart and enacted (another example is V for Vendetta).  Fight Club does carry the same messages of the novel and I love Fight Club, but when I watched it, I though “uh-oh”.

The reason Fight Club is dangerous is that there is a lot of truth in the story mixed with paranoia.  Tyler explains that freedom is found in fighting in a society that doesn’t allow men to lash out and orders them to repress emotion in exchange for consumerism and capitalism.  Knowing one’s self is the first aspect to freedom and the fight clubs allow people to have the clarity of knowing what they are capable of.

fight club tyler durden terrorist brad pitt

Are you paying attention, now?

What Tyler decides to do with the freedom is where the danger comes in.  He opts to use the power he finds from the minds he has “freed” to in turn manipulate them into being his followers…which feels particularly relevant in the post-2016 election year, but the message is almost the opposite (it is the delivery that is the same).  Here, consumerism is suppressing society, and wealth (which equals power) must be erased.  An attack on the credit card holders as part of Project Mayhem is the ultimate goal, and this seems like something that someone would pick-up and run with…especially since after the movie real fight clubs began popping up across the country.  The fact that the movie is actually anti-toxic masculinity and a satire is often missed.

fight club brad pitt rules shirtless

I feel sorry for Brad Pitt….I know how hard it is to be ripped and have everyone admiring you

*****Spoiler Alert***** The elephant in the room that must be talked about in a review is the big twist ending.  It is revealed that the unnamed narrator (played by Edward Norton) and Tyler Durden are the same character.  This doesn’t seem possible when it is revealed, but the more you watch the movie, the smarter the movie is.  The twist is hinted to in multiple points including the quick flashes of Tyler spliced throughout the film.

With the twist, the writing of Fight Club is revealed to be incredibly smart, and it ties in with the great visuals and smart acting on the part of Norton, Pitt, and Carter, the story really comes together into something special…making Fight Club one of the best films of the ’90s.  Fight Club might not be for everyone, but it is a strong memorable movie that continues to resonate after you see it.

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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