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Fight Club

A 1999 movie starring Edward Norton and Brad Pitt based on the book of the same name.

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Ruined by a bout of Twister

  • Dec 26, 2002
First impressions count, they last, and I think they explain the overwhelmingly positive reactions of the Amazon readership to this film. The first hour of Fight Club is truly, exquisitely, brilliant: patiently (if acidly) observed, witty and deadpan, and the punches it lands - good, solid punches - are of the purely figurative kind. The first hour is nothing like what I was expecting (well, there's no fighting, for a start), so much so that I had to check I actually had the right film. But it was so good, so clever, and so funny that I really didn't mind whether I did or not.

So, on the strength of that, sans doubte, five stars: Norton is beautifully understated as the nameless narrator, Helena Bonham-Carter reveals the burned out sex-kitten side of herself that previously I could only fantasise existed, and Brad Pitt, always arch and aware, is as charismatic and magnetic as anyone I've seen on screen. Because he's so cool you tend to overlook the fact that he's an extraordinary actor as well.

But doubts began creeping into my mind the minute the first punch was thrown. They took a while to solidify - the game could have gone any one of a number of ways; the violence stayed intermittent and along with the punches there were some interesting (if, er, heavy handed) consumerism vs. individualism arguments getting thrown about, and there seemed to be a Brad Pitt as Jesus thread gathering pace, but suddenly everything went terribly wrong, the narrative ceased making any sense, and this clever, articulate and stylish film devolved into an ultra-violent, but otherwise pretty run-of-the-mill high-octane action movie.

What happened? Well, put some of it down to Curse Of The Twist. This is a phenomenon which really only started in earnest with the Crying Game, where the twist made the film; was followed (cleverly) by the Sixth Sense and (laboriously) by the Usual Suspects, and now seems to be obligatory way of finishing off a film where what seemed a great idea when it started turned out not to be (see for example the Shawshank Redemption, Signs, and A Beautiful Mind). Problem here is that the twist completely undoes all the good work done in the first hour of the film. A picture that was making some clever points in a pretty palatable way all of a sudden just doesn't any more. And all of a sudden there are lots of guns and lots of punching. Great.

And I'm not sure the twist even works (I'd have to watch it again, and to be honest I can't be bothered): the point of a twist is to give you a set of facts and imply that they should be interpreted in a certain way, and then to reveal the critical piece of information which reveals that everything must actually be viewed another way. I have a sense that some of the facts from the first half don't square with the revised scenario.

This was all immensely disappointing, because this could have been a great film - I still think the first 60 minutes is a great film, but I guess if they had stopped there then, on account of the lack of fighting, they couldn't have called it "Fight Club".

Olly Buxton

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More Fight Club (1999 movie) reviews
review by . December 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
NOTE: This was formatted for my blog, so just in case you plan to waste your time reading(as in the pictures and spacing won't be correctly placed) , follow the link :http://rantsofadegenerate.blogspot.com/       "I am Jack's Raging Bile Duct." Post-Modern Castration Paranoia        INTRODUCTION: The 1999 film Fight Club is about..? Well what is Fight Club, here I am sitting on my sofa expecting a 2 hour blood …
review by . July 23, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
"The first rule about Fight Club is..."      I LOVE this movie.  I love Palahniuk in general.  I saw the movie several times before reading the book but I loved the book equally as much.  It was pretty awesome how they didn't change too much between the book and the movie.  Both the book and movie contain tons of awesome quotes including my favorites:      "It is only after we have lost everything that we are free to …
review by . October 05, 2010
Pros: great scripting, excellent acting, awesome plot      Cons: there isn't a sequel      The Bottom Line: If you are a man and you haven't seen Fight Club, you aren't much of a man. Get to the video store and pick this up!      Plot Details: This opinion reveals everything about the movie''s plot. For most men there is a serious rush of pleasure and excitement that comes from an adrenaline charged situation. We live …
review by . June 12, 2010
posted in Screen Gems
I am Jack's carpel tunnel.
FIGHT CLUB   Written by   Directed by David Fincher   Starring Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and Helena Bonham Carter      Editor's Note: They say the first rule of Fight Club is not to talk about Fight Club.  I'm actually pretty certain that this is also the second rule of Fight Club.  I am breaking both of these rules in this piece but, to be fair, I'm not a card-carrying member of Fight Club so I don't think I have to abide …
review by . June 23, 2009
Fight Club - 1999 If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this is useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do? Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend these moments? Or are you so impressed with authority that you give respect and credence to all who claim it? Do you read everything you're supposed to read? Do you think everything you're supposed to think? Buy what you're told …
review by . July 20, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Who is edward norton. That is a question youll be asking yourself the whole time your watching this movie. The story follows a man named Edward norton as he goes from a inspection person for the auto industry to the leader of a fight club. And during this he gets caught up with a drug using girlfriend, a man who works as a projectionist at a theatre with a fondness for splicing porn into the movies. It messes with your mind, forces you to think, and then blows what you thought you knew to pieces. …
Quick Tip by . September 16, 2010
better than you'd expect, inventive and more subversive than anything. Not repulsively violent either, title notwithstanding.
Quick Tip by . August 05, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Not the best movie to watch, but a nice mix of fighting and such to make the movie interesting.
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
This is by far one of my favorite movies, not only is it intelligent but it makes you think. anyone who plans to watch this should be prepared for confusion.
Quick Tip by . August 03, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Am I the only person not to enjoy this film ??!! I thought it was pretty dumb.
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Olly Buxton ()
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Member Since: Sep 26, 2009
Last Login: Dec 22, 2010 09:37 PM UTC
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About this movie


FIGHT CLUB is narrated by a lonely, unfulfilled young man (Edward Norton) who finds his only comfort in feigning terminal illness and attending disease support groups. Hopping from group to group, he encounters another pretender, or "tourist," the morose Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter), who immediately gets under his skin. However, while returning from a business trip, he meets a more intriguing character--the subversive Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). They become fast friends, bonding over a mutual disgust for corporate consumer-culture hypocrisy. Eventually, the two start Fight Club, which convenes in a bar basement where angry men get to vent their frustrations in brutal, bare-knuckle bouts. Fight Club soon becomes the men's only real priority; when the club starts a cross-country expansion, things start getting really crazy.

Like Tyler Durden himself, director David Fincher?s FIGHT CLUB, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, is startlingly aggressive and gleefully mischievous as it skewers...
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Genre: Comedy
Release Date: October 15, 1999
MPAA Rating: R
Screen Writer: Chuck Palahniuk, Jim Uhls
DVD Release Date: August 27, 2002
Runtime: 2hrs 19min
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