Fight Club

Fight Club ★★★★

Film 12 on my Re-watch Wednesday list.

Man it's been awhile since I revisited David Fincher's near masterpiece Fight Club. It's been a personal favorite of mine since I first saw it back in 1999. It's a film that spawned actually fight clubs, but the title alone does not accurately depict what this film is about. The "Fight Club" is a mere front for one man's fucked up mental journey. A journey most of us would only get to go on if we were on some really good fucking drugs. It's a film who's wonderful premise has been copied many times over. Sometimes the results have been good, sometimes they've been bad, but the truth remains...there's only one Fight Club.

Edward Norton and Brad Pitt star in this mind fuck drama about an insomniac looking for a way to change his life. When going to group therapy sessions for illnesses he doesn't have don't quite do the trick, Norton (listed as "Narrator" in the credits) meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a soap salesman with some pretty wild ideas. The two men start an underground fight club too much success, but as it turns out things aren't always what they seem and one of them has lost complete control of reality.

As much as I love this film, I'm actually dropping it a half star on this re-watch. It's simply do to knowing the twist/outcome. Knowing the films secrets hurts it just a wee little bit on a re-watch. Other than that it's still the brilliantly stylized, amazingly directed and acted film I remember. It's beautiful in it's brutality. A visual treat that also delights the ears thanks to a score by The Dust Brothers that fits the film perfectly.

Seeing men beat the shit out of each other really gets the old testosterone going! Throw in the fantastic mind-fuck twist and you got yourself one hell of a film. Edward Norton is an actor I've always liked. He's just had a lot of ups and downs in his film career especially in the last few years. That said he gives what may be his best overall performance in this film. He's just really damn good. As for his co-star Brad Pitt I wouldn't call this his best performance but it's up there. Pitt just does this type of crazy whacked out character well. He's like a one man show when he's on the screen. The chemistry between Pitt and Norton is what really makes the film though. They're explosive onscreen together. Helena Bonham Carter who plays Marla Singer is pretty good as well, but something about her just bugs me. Not particularly in this film just in general. In this film she smokes like a freight train which kinda grossed me out, and she looks like a drugged up witch. In every film she's in I start thinking about October and Halloween because she always looks that way. It's similar to how I felt about Courtney Love in The People vs Larry Flynt. Good performance but not a stretch in any sense of the word.

When it comes down to it though, David Fincher is the real star of the show. this film has more fantastic shots and visual appeal than some directors achieve in a career. He created a perfect storm with the cast and his brilliant direction. It's a film that grabs your attention right from the beginning then holds your eyes open and forces you to watch. Maybe forces isn't the right word though because it's all so damn exhilarating to watch it's hard to look away. Fight Club is equal parts thriller, drama, and dark comedy making it one of the best films of the 90's and one of the best films of all time. "The first rule of fight club is: you do not talk about fight club." That may be true, but the quality work that went into this film makes it impossible not to talk about it.

Ron's recommendation: Absolute must fucking see!

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