Fight Club (1999) – David Fincher


It’s been awhile since I’d seen this one, so seeing it as a recommendation in the Great Movies – 100 Years of Film book after my screening of Pulp Fiction, I was happy to sit down and take a look at it again.

I have no doubt that this brilliantly subversive film will go down as Fincher’s finest work. Yes, he has made some great movies, but this one will be the one people point to when they talk about him.

It’s hard to talk about this film, as there isn’t anything I could possibly say that hasn’t been said before, so there’s relatively nothing new to add to the conversation.

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise that t remains funny, smart, dark and thrilling.

Based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, Edward Norton plays an insomniac office drone, suffering from an inability to have an emotional release, and honestly, lacks some serious direction in his life. A life, that like most of us, seems to be driven by the pointlessness of consumerism. He is never referred to by name, who through his travels meets up with fringe dweller, and soap maker, Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt).

In Tyler, the Narrator sees everything he wants to be, and never can, and a fast, if off-kilter friendship is born. The two of them start up a fight club one evening after leaving a bar, and it slowly begins to expand, growing across the nations, until bruised and battered faces are everywhere across the country…

Tyler Durden has himself an army.

And they are thinking about changing the status quo.

Seen in today’s world, this story seems even more relevant, and I think most viewers will actually find themselves agreeing with Durden’s character. His actions may be extreme, but at this point, even I’m beginning to think that the extreme may be the only way to start making a difference with some of the problems our society is facing. The film resonates.


Helena Bonham Carter costars alongside the two leads, and her performance is wonderfully eccentric, and rewatching it, knowing how things turn out, everything works.

Meat Loaf and Jared Leto also show up, joining the fight club, and by extension Durden’s army.

As an aside, the sequence that sees Norton’s character quitting his job is one of my favorites!

So much of the dialogue has found its way into pop culture, once again, because it really does resonate.

Norton’s narration works perfectly, guiding the story along, and letting us know exactly what Fincher wants us to know, and when he wants us to know it, and never before. Nothing is telegraphed beforehand, but all the clues are there from the beginning, that takes a deft touch.

The story, VFX, and performances are married to a soundtrack by the Dust Brothers, giving it an edgy feel, that is further augmented by all the little things Fincher has made sure to cut into the film, like little frames of Durden cut into the film.

I honestly couldn’t believe it had been so long since I watched this one, but really did love the chance to reexamine this one thanks to this list.


Fight Club (1999) Edward Norton and Brad Pitt (Screengrab)




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