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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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Fight Club

  • Feb 11, 2010
  • by
Michief. Mayhem. Soap.

Since the movie came out in 1999 I'm pretty sure most, if not every reader who finds this article, has seen the movie and/or read the book. This will obviously take away from the movie's major twist near the end. Upfront, I have not read the book by Chuck Palahnuik. Interestingly, you will find a Writer's Commentary in the DVD of Fight Club that has both Palahnuik and the writer of the screen play, Jim Uhls, so while things were changed between book and movie, you can be assured these changes were, at least somewhat, done and known by the original author.

That established, onward.

Fight Club is about a nameless guy(Edward Norton) who has insomnia. He can't sleep unless he finds an outlet for himself at support groups. This guy seems to live a mundane life as an insurance investigator working for a major car company. At the time this article is written the irony can not be lost on Toyota's current problem with bad breaks, something they could have known about for a long time, as such problems with his company's vehicles are mentioned throughout the beginning of the movie. Then there was Marla Singer(Helena Bohnam Carter), the woman who ruined everything.

Fight Club is told in a Voice Over fashion by a nameless guy often referred to as "The Narrator" in other publications about this movie and I guess I'll use it from here on out for ease of reading. The book I'm aware never gives him a name. In the script for Fight Club he's referred to as "Jack", due to one segment where he finds diaries "written by body parts in the first person." In the Voice Over he then uses that established set of lines to convey thoughts such as "I am Jack's complete lack of surprise."

The Narrator, looking for a way to change his life, runs into an unlikely person on a plane between trips as an insurance investigator. This man is the now iconic character of Tyler Durden(Brad Pitt). The meeting is pretty uneventful. Tyler eventually gives The Narrator his business card, grabs his suitcase, and takes his leave from The Narrator after what seems to be an insignificant conversation with an interesting person on an airplane between jobs. Upon returning home The Narrator discovers his apartment blew up. Yes. Blew up. The whole thing explodes throwing his belongings out of the window of the huge apartment building he lives in into the street. This is where the movie really seems to get started.

I know virtually everyone is familiar with this movie and I'm not about to give spoilers or explain the entire thing as if I were writing a treatment for it. So, if you're still reading now bare with me. There are some who may just be discovering this movie for the first time. The payoff at the end is worth never reading a spoilerish review. So with that mid-article explanation, we're going to get as far as we need to get before I can digress.

The Narrator eventually meets up with Tyler at a bar. On a whim Tyler asks him to "hit me as hard as can." After a lot of convincing the usually well-kept white collar Narrator gives him a haymaker. After the reaction to what seems like a bad idea wears off they discover this is a lot more fun than they initially thought. Tyler and The Narrator start fighting. This starts the Fight Club movement that would eventually lead to Project Mayhem. You also get to watch the dynamic of Tyler Durden and The Narrator throughout the rest of the film as things bigger than one of them never expected it to be.

Now, if this was ALL that Fight Club was it would be a great movie. It's the twist that makes this a cult classic and why it's still talked about today. There's other things that need to be brought up, however, like what is this movie about?

Is it about a man trying to put some excitment in his life by creating an underground boxing club? Maybe the dangers of finding someone who reflects who you are(Marla Singer)? It's been said  this movie is about consumerism. I think they all have their piece to add in, but really, all that those things are is the PLOT. It's the story. It's not WHAT the movie is about. What is this movie trying to tell us? It uses all these devices, parts of modern culture, and human nature that leads to an end that cannot be stopped by The Narrator. So what IS the big picture?

This film touches a lot of people in many different ways. Some relate to the consumerism parts, or being stuck in a job you thought was ok and ended up finding out you'd do anything to escape it, or having that partner who seems to be two different people where no matter what you do you can't seem to break through. It needs to be noted all these are valid. They are individual components of a bigger picture, though, which is the film at large.

As a reviewer I don't think my interpretation belongs in this article. Everyone who sees this film, or any film, needs to think for themselves what the Director, screen writer, or author wanted them to take away from the film. I think it's the overarcing message of this movie that has allowed it to become the cult classic it has.

I'm curious what readers of this article think this film is about. Just leave them in the comments please, but any important spoiler posts will be deleted, especially the famous twist.
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February 12, 2010
Wow, Robby, you gave quite the summary there :P  I liked your break down of the movie though!  As you already know, Fight Club is one of my favorite movies and books, and you do it justice.  You're totally welcome to write your interpretation of the film in your review.  After, it is your review ;)  Have you read the other Chuck Palahniuk books?  If you haven't, I think you'd really like them.  I'd start with Choke :)
February 13, 2010
Not on this film :) I think this movie is too complicated and covers far too much for me to influence someone with my interpretation within the review. They need to see it with new eyes. And no, I haven't read any of his books actually :) Thanks for the recommendation and the comment. :D
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
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.
About the reviewer

Ranked #191
I'm a huge Alexz Johnson fan and of the girl group Lady Phoenix. I love One Tree Hill and the good old days of professional wrestling. My favorite movie of all time is probably Fight Club. You can find … more
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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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