Wesley R. Ball’s review published on Letterboxd:
Perhaps David Fincher's most influential film, Fight Club spawned an entirely new generation of social revolution unlike anything of its time. It's a thoughtful examination of the stereotypical macho male icon and a deconstruction of its public normality. A smart screenplay adapts Chuck Palahniuk's brilliant dialogue to a quick witted cinematic setting that embodies the fast pacing that the best of Fincher's later films would embrace. Edward Norton gives a fascinating performance as the Narrator, that unnamed protagonist whose sad, lonely life muddles his ability to live his life to the fullest. His perceptions on his mundane office life give him a sense of deficiency- like he's being deprived of some vital experience that drains his energy.
Conversely, Brad Pitt is astounding as Tyler Durden, that yin to the Narrator's yang. He's a free thinker- a radical and carefree nonconformist who sets up the perfect stress reliever. Fight Club. That moment during the night when you can just lay all your rage and testosterone-addled frustrations bare with your knuckles on the face of a random stranger. A place where male rage can roam free in an all out one on one brawl in a quest for freedom. Freedom from the shackles of modern consumerism. Freedom from social constructs. But Tyler is about so much more than Fight Club. Tyler is a direct extension of Fincher himself, breaking down the fourth wall to reach out directly to the viewer. Fincher has never been one to shy away from toying with the audience's perception, and Fight Club fits perfectly with his directing styles. The breakneck pace that the plot moves at at times allows its brilliant subtlety to fly directly past the viewer without making itself evident.
But Fight Club is so much more than a twisted mind game or a commentary on the male image. It's a dark satire on consumerism. A morose and biting condemnation of how corporate greed and the typical American work life have caused a great rift in the world. There's so much more behind this story than a simple antisocial message of "fighting the power." There's an alarming plea for a call to action that begs the public to wake from its stasis. It's telling audiences of the deplorable level of comfort that people have sunk into and pleads for a change of pace. A corporate mind control scheme that has already totally permeated the public and weaved its way into every household in America. There's a cry for help hidden here that gets lost in the public image of masculinity that everyone else places upon it. A diabolically ingenious tale of breaking free from typical conformity and being true to yourself. It's not only Fincher's most influential film- it's also his greatest achievement. An intricate commentary that disguises itself in more ways than one and never tries to make its twists too easily deciphered.
Stop trying to control everything and just let go.