Alan P’s review published on Letterboxd:
I am Jack's review of the movie Fight Club. If you don't know what that means, it's just a small taste of how sardonic this whole film is.
At first, I assumed Fight Club was just a movie about a bunch of guys beating each other up. From the moment it starts, however, it proves to be much more than that. It's actually a very strangely neurotic and mesmerizing descent into a testosterone-fueled madness. Actual fighting is limited; what you get instead is a storytelling experience that's so warped, it will challenge your perception of what is and isn't real in the film. The film itself even gets warped, with such bizarre effects as having single frames of images mixed into random spots, and one frenetic scene where the negative appears to come undone. Throw in some wild computer-generated modelling effects and some brisk editing, and the film becomes a highly stylized and entrancing experience.
The story is a real doozy. It kicks off strong and hard, showcasing the insomniac protagonist and chronicling how he went from being an average office worker with everything into a deviant with nothing (and nothing to lose). Things get thrilling when the actual fight club takes off and anarchy starts to spread, but the main focus is always on exploring the characters, and it all builds up to an unpredictable climax. There is a massive plot twist in the mix, but it's one of those that holds up extremely well on repeat viewings (even though it can be a little hard to believe). Characters shine really well, thanks to their nuanced performances, their sharp dialogue, their convoluted relationships, and the nature of the plot, which really makes us stop and think about what's going on in their heads.
There are a number of themes that can be extrapolated from this crazy story. The most blatant messages concern anarchy, as the characters constantly criticize the modern consumerist culture and emphasize "letting go." Much of the story is really about them abandoning the common goals of wealth, success, or material things, and just being yourself. There are moments where the film also seems to dig up deeper metaphysical questions and meaning, especially regarding morality and the perception of reality.
As noted above, the film has one heck of a style. The camera work is very solid and good, while the editing tends to be very inventive and wild. Acting is great; Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helena Bonham Carter are effectively perfect in their roles. Writing is awesome, and there are tons of great lines. This production uses some very great and detailed-looking sets, props, costumes, and special effects. Music by the Dust Brothers can be a bit nutty, but is mostly pretty awesome.
Fight Club is a movie with some serious attitude and style. The experience of watching it is like going through that feeling of wooziness after being punched in the face, for it is that trippy. I could say more, but the first and second rules of Fight Club forbid me...
5/5 (Experience: Perfect | Story: Perfect | Film: Perfect)