Piper’s review published on Letterboxd:
I've avoided reviewing this film for a long time because it's one of my all time favorites. It's hard to review your favorites, because what you say likely won't do your feelings justice. It doesn't top my list, but I remember watching it for the first time last February and falling absolutely head over heels. I'd gone in and out of film phases before, thinking I was a "movie fan" and then deciding I didn't really like them. Fight Club was it for me. It was what triggered my love of film, and will always hold a special place in my heart for that reason. I have so much to thank it for.
It's definitely a film that's better the second time around. Even though you know the twist is coming and what it is, there are so many little hints and things that you pick up on along the way. I feel that it gets better with each viewing. After my first watch I thought about it for weeks, and it inspired me to write a bunch of stories that were loosely based off of it. It's so great when a film can inspire you. This one has inspired me the most when you think about productivity. After each viewing, I kind of fall out of it. I watch other favorites, and I'm sure they come above it. Maybe it's because I don't like violent movies much, but there's something funny about Fight Club. Watching it after it's collected dust on the shelf for a while is a wonderful feeling. Everything comes flooding back, all the initial wonder, all those "holy shit!" moments along the way. I've picked out pretty much every hint related to the ending, and it's crazy what a master of filmmaking and screenwriting it really is. It's extraordinarily clever in its execution. After it's been left a while I always assume it's not really a "favorite", but I pick it up again and everything comes back. It's a truly unique and wonderful experience for that very reason.
As many fans may know there is a book it is based off of. After I saw the movie I was in a hurry to grab the book and it also happens to be one of my favorite books of all time. I could talk about my adoration for the author all day, but that's not the point here. I encourage everyone to pick up the book because, although different from the film in many parts, it is a masterpiece just as much as Fight Club is. Fight Club is a successful film adaptation if there ever was one. It uses a lot of lines from the book, which is beautifully written and carries an important message.
Theme is very prominent in Fight Club, as it is in any Palahniuk story. David Fincher did a wonderful job of bringing all of the book's messages out— messages about consumerism as well as identity and life in general. Although Mr. Durden probably went about the whole self-awakening thing in the wrong way, he does have a lot of good things to say. It's easier said than done to just go quit your job, and money is a necessary thing to survive, but our lives are so run by our possessions that we lose ourselves within them. As Tyler says, the things you own can indeed end up owning you. There is so much more to it than its appearance on the surface, which is just plain violence.
It's also a master of pacing and of filmmaking. Never once does it feel boring, like it's left anything out or put anything in that isn't necessary. The ending is also rather ambiguous compared to the book, but it feels conclusive. It feels as if maybe everything is going to work out for the narrator. David Fincher is truly a spectacular director. Many of the shots are very artistic and beautiful, and the dark visual only compliments its dark subject matter. Fincher is a filmmaker who often makes movies that are too psychologically disturbing for my taste, but, god, he executes every shot perfectly. It is a pleasure to look at. Norton, Pitt and Bonham-Carter also bring strong performances to the table. The dead, dull sounding narration is spot on, and well done by the screenwriter. Its characters are all individual and real. Flat characters are the last thing you need, and you definitely won't find them here.
When Fight Club was first released, it bombed at the box office. Now considered a cult classic, it's high up on everybody's lists. It's inspired real fight clubs. Everybody knows the first rule. Its praise is well deserved— it's worthy of every bit of hype and it's a worthwhile watch, whether you're a fan of generally violent movies or not. It is truly a masterpiece.