Don't you just hate spoilers? I do, too. That's why I always try to include warnings. However, I sometimes ramble a bit too much here or there and maybe a few (or many) key plot points slip without me giving proper notice. So I'd like to include a blanket spoiler warning for the weary internet travelers of the world: Here There Be Spoilers. You've been warned.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Fight Club

It's probably one of the corniest lines you could say today, but "The first rule of Fight Club is: You don't talk about Fight Club" has to be one of the greatest movie quotes around. Of course, purists will acknowledge it as coming from the novel by Chuck Palahniuk originally, but let's not get nit-picky. Fight Club is one of those movies that people who like movies just know about and if you a familiar with the novel it's probably because you saw the movie first.

With the exception of a few films like Inglourious Basterds and Se7en, I've never really been a Brad Pitt fan. I suppose this where public opinion of him has actually affected my view of him more than anything else. While I know he's a good actor from some of his movies, he has always seemed like one of those actors like George Clooney that come across as being more tabloid image than actual substance. I once thought Leonardo DiCaprio was pretty much the same way, too. 

I suppose I really should change my views a bit about Brad Pitt although I think I'll wait just a bit longer and watch a few more of his movies before I really add him to my list of go-to actors. However, the performance he gave in Fight Club is stunning. 

Edward Norton, on the other hand, has been on my list of go-to actors ever since I first saw American History X and Primal Fear back when I was a sophomore in high school. Norton, like his more famous co-star, delivers a fantastic performance. Norton and Pitt are great foils for each other and their chemistry is really what makes the movie work. 

However, I'd almost argue that its Meat Loaf's role in the film that has to make this film a must-see. I know that's a bit of mean snark on my part, but an overly-sensitive Meat Loaf with man-boobs trying to strangle Edward Norton in an overbearing man-hug... Well, that's just funny as hell. 

In fact, Fight Club as a whole is a very funny movie. Just not necessarily the "haha" kind of funny movie. Its humor is much the same type of dark and satirical pessimism that colors A Clockwork Orange and, to a greater extent, American Psycho

This movie isn't about fights at all. Yeah, there are fights, but the fights serve as a bizarre catharsis rather than the smash-and-bash brutality you'd find in Jason Statham flicks. The fights in this film are often ugly and borderline homoerotic, especially the one where Tyler is being beaten by the mafioso-like character.

The flick is more about the main character (Norton) and his struggle to adjust in a world where his possessions and unsatisfying job seem to define him. He goes out to meetings for survivors of testicular cancer, brain cancer, and just about any other type of disease just so he can feel a type of emotional release. 

But once a woman named Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), also a person who doesn't suffer from any of the ailments these meetings are designed to address, joins these meetings for essentially the same reasons as the main character, the main character no longer seems to be able to find satisfaction from these meetings. I suppose he has a one hypochondriac per meeting limit or something like that. 

That's, more or less, when Tyler Durden (Pitt) enters the picture and our main character gets introduced to the world of underground fighting and eventually something else more sinister. 

This film is renowned for its famous ending, so much so that you might even know how it ends before you even see it. Much like The Usual Suspects, Se7en, or The Sixth Sense, this movie's ending is so famous that you'll probably know what it is. Or you might be able to just do what I did and kind of guess the ending. I think I guessed it when I saw the similar briefcases. 

Still, this is a fantastic movie. Knowing the ending or even what the message is doesn't rob the movie of its power. 


  1. Brad Pitt has a lot of very good roles. I really liked him in his early roles. He tried real hard not to get type cast as a pretty boy and did a wide variety of roles. Some Brad Pitt Movies you should like to add to your list:

    12 Monkeys (MUST SEE! - I've told you this before)
    Snatch (Be sure to get subtitles)
    True Romance (a small role but he steals the scenes he's in)

    As far as Fight Club, I'm going to have to see it again. I haven't seen it since it's initial release. I liked the movie so much, that I read the book afterwards too. It's a little fuzzy for me now though so I need to see it again. And you are correct, Edward Norton is awesome.

    1. 12 Monkeys is definitely on my list and has been for a while. I think I'll bump it up a few notches and grab it the next time I do some Amazon shopping.