This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
Daniel Cruse’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Tyler Durden is “we live in a society” as a person.
One of those classic movies that would be so much more interesting to watch for the first time if I hadn’t seen the twists referenced on so many occasions in YouTube videos and Reddit threads. One flaw in the post internet age is that it’s impossible to avoid the most major spoilers from movies that have been out for any amount of time. So I don’t spoil the experience for anyone else, I’m spoiler tagging this review despite the fact that the movie is 20 years old now. I bought this one on Blu-ray cause I found a Walmart gift card from Christmas I hadn’t used and they had a great Steelbook edition for only 10 dollars.
Even with the lack of surprise, this film really packed a punch. Ed Norton and Brad Pitt give fantastic lead performances. I had seen the final shot of the film but I still managed to be pretty shocked by the ending and the few minutes that lead up to it. Helena Bonham Carter was great as well in what is easily the most normal role I’ve ever seen her play.
The cinematography feels perfectly in line with other Fincher films I’ve seen. I love the soundtrack, it was a great addition to the film. It’s a great showcase of amazing editing, acting, lighting, music, cinematography, and direction. The Tyler Durden twist is so well executed and I wish I could’ve experienced that without knowing beforehand.
From what I’ve heard about this film in the past and how I’ve seen people react to it, it’s clear that Fight Club is often praised by certain demographics for all the wrong reasons. This movie portrays a reality where The Narrator and all of the men he encounters are left so insecure and emasculated that they feel their only way to reclaim any sort of identity as a man is to beat the hell out of each other. Tyler represents everything wrong with men who feel put down by society, he creates an organization with the intent of upheaving the system that has oppressed and emasculated them but eventually it becomes the very thing he was speaking out against in the most literal sense. Tyler strips away all sense of individualality and even threatens to literally destroy the testicles of any man who breaks the rules or gets in their way.
Fight Club sees a group of angry and misguided men on a mission to change the system they live in, but what the more ignorant members of Project Mayhem don’t understand is that Tyler doesn’t actually want to change the system, he just wants to make it work for him more than anyone else. He strives to position himself at the top so that he can feel secure in his existence regardless of the damage it causes. It’s a brilliant story and one that I think some audiences may have not been entirely ready for in 1999. The film was much more divisive when it was initially released but I’m glad to see that it is beloved now among the film community.