Classic Review – Fight Club (1999)

Club - postTitle – Fight Club (1999)

Director – David Fincher (Gone Girl)

Cast – Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto

Plot – Office worker and insomniac The Narrator (Norton) finds himself partnering with soap maker Tyler Durden (Pitt), a man who is the opposite to himself, confident, aggressive and dangerous. The two men share a hatred for the modern day Ikea loving world and through their shared anger start up a male only Fight Club, a club that grows in numbers and eventually life threatening violence.

 “This is your life and it’s ending one minute at a time”

Review by Eddie on 29/04/2015

It’s a curious thing to judge or analyse David Fincher’s revered anti-establishment classic Fight Club in today’s age, for in the 15 or so years since its initial tepid response upon an unsuspecting movie loving public, the film has become something more than a phenomenon, it’s become an institution much like Edward Norton’s narrator so desperately wants to see crumble. From the endlessly quotable dialogue, the oft discussed classic ending and the wonderfully engaging performances from the films leads Edward Norton and Brad Pitt, Fight Club truly is a cinematic classic. Not bad for a film we shouldn’t even talk about if we were following the rules.

In adapting cult author Chuck Palahniuk book of the same name, it’s clear directing star David Fincher shared an affiliation with this thoroughly bleak yet irresistibly engaging commentary on everything from pent up male rage, modern day social standards and Krispy Krème donuts. Fincher creates a world in which everything plays out in heightened sense of reality, an almost bizarro world that feels eerily similar to our own version of life yet also distinctively different. From the aroma of every freshly brewed Starbucks Coffee, every droplet of hard fought blood and every chemical burn, Fincher’s imagination and visual flair as director comes to the forefront. While his work on memorable thriller The Game and genre classic Se7en proved what a talent he was a filmmaker, Fight Club is his undeniable genius come to fruition, a gut punch and unsuspecting left hook of original vision that comes racing out of the blocks only to conclude in the most explosive way imaginable.

While Fincher’s genius is on full display from Fight Club’s first shot through to its last, there is also little denying the power its actors and narrative drive had on creating such a unanimously loved film. In a role that perhaps even betters his incredible turns in both American History X and Primal Fear, Edward Norton displays an incredible ability to inhabit a man who may just be crumbling from the inside out and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden went to all new levels of “cool” as a soap making, robe wearing maniac of epic proportions. These two A-listers created a pairing for the ages in a story driven by a sense of bemusement at modern day living, a cry of outrage in our Ikea loving, self-important driven lives. It’s within this story core that lays Fight Club’s most endearing facet and why it continues to be discovered and talked about today, it was perhaps a movie ahead of its time as now more than ever it seems ever so strangely, relevant.

A brutal, uncompromising and utterly brilliant work of movie making, Fight Club may be a film that cares not that it offends or even repulses but in this the true power of its strengths come forth, to showcase just what a work of art it is. It’s an artwork that is surrounded by the grime and dirt and all the dirty little secrets of modern day society and it’s perhaps most importantly a piece of entertainment that continues to keep on giving thanks to Fincher’s once in a lifetime moulding of craft, production and performances into something so outstandingly memorable.

5 bars of soap out of 5

11 responses to “Classic Review – Fight Club (1999)

  1. A personal favourite of mine, and a stunningly good adaptation of its source material. One of the best, in fact.

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