Fight Club – 1999

Originally posted on Blog-City on March 21st, 2005
Aaah, Fight Club. The movie, the book, the ‘idea’.

The antithesis of civilized living, Chuck Pahlanhuck’s theory of giving in to your gut instinct of fighting brings up some valid points. Fighting not for survival but for the survival of your soul, a reignition of your mojo.

The movie is based very tightly on the book and as such, keeps a lot of the main plot points intact.

Starring Edward Norton as ‘the narrator’ and Brad Pitt as Tyler Durden, this is one of the movies that brought us into the new millennium kicking and screaming. A completely nihilistic view of society, there is no ignoring the message that the Narrator is trying to convey. The society we live in is in need of a shake-up, all of us living in a perfect 8-5 white picket fence life need to take a step back and think about what we’re REALLY doing. As Tyler says towards the beginning of the film ‘How much can you really know about yourself if you’ve never been in a fight?’ He’s right. If you live your life in a catatonic state, going from work-to-home back to work again, you may need a little something to remind you what it is to be alive.

So many lines in the book that translated well into the movie say a lot without using a lot of words.

‘On a large enough time line, the survival rate for everyone will drop to zero.’

“This is your life, and it’s ending one minute at a time.” This line is never more evident as the scene where Tyler drags a young night-shop attendant into the dark behind his store, steals his license, and then proceeds to question him at gunpoint as to why he was in veterinary school and is now working nights at a quick-stop. Telling the young man that he’s going to keep his license and check back on his progress, he makes the man promise to get back in school and do with his life what he had originally planned. If you can overlook the violence inherent in the act, you can see the brilliance of the character of Tyler. After the young man runs off into the night, terrified, Tyler turns to the Narrator and says ‘tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessell’s life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal he has ever eaten.” He’s right. After having a near-death experience, this young man, Raymond K Hessell, will look at things differently. It’s unfortunate that Tyler’s actions were what prompted Mr Hessell’s life-changing but it seems that in today’s society, all we respond to are extremes.

The movie was a great film and should be required viewing for every person who wonders what to do with their life. The critics overall liked the movie but there were naysayers (as every film has). Some of the most vicious naysayers said the following;

“[Fincher’s] tooth and nail stylistics inherently obscure any point the film might be trying to make.” – Chuck Rudolph, MATINEE MAGAZINE

“Bloody mess of a guy film loses its battle to have any real meaning.” – Susan Stark, DETROIT NEWS

“This was a lightweight film that mistakenly thinks it’s in the heavyweight class.” – Dennis Schwartz, OZUS’ WORLD MOVIE REVIEWS

I disagree with all of them. Maybe it’s because I’m young enough to see the deeper meaning in the film. Maybe I’m just a twisted bastard. I don’t know, honestly. I thought there was a lot of profundity in the film and the book.

There is so many valid points to bring up about the movie that this review can’t cover them all and if I could even come close, I wouldn’t do it justice. Trust me on this one; if you can stomach the violence, you might be able to see the message that my generation has been looking for.


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