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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

The anti-anti-corporate film

2/10
Author: chriskirk_filmmaker from Jiggi
15 October 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Fight Club (1999) is considered a cult classic by those who praise it for its brutal critique of the meaninglessness of modern urban life. It is condemned as "irresponsible" by some critics who claim that it advocates violence. I claim that both of these positions reveal a total lack of insight into what the film is actually saying, and an unwillingness or inability to read the text of the film as a whole.

It seems that all criticism of the film focuses only on the first half. The first half depicts a man living a consumerist lifestyle in an anonymous American city who meets a powerful man who inspires him to make radical changes in his life, primarily through all-male meetings of consensual bloody violence called Fight Clubs. The debate about whether violence is a legitimate response to a suffocating culture of submission is a legitimate one, but not one that will ever be meaningfully discussed in mainstream media. State institutions have a monopoly on violence. End of debate.

The film is stylishly designed, charmingly performed and its philosophy is quotable, the only problem is the second half, in which Fight Club becomes Project Mayhem. The second half appears to be nonsensical but a rather cynical message can be drawn from it. Whether the destruction of credit card companies to erase personal debt without loss of human life is a legitimate response to capitalism is not a debate the film encourages. These men are not depicted as free-thinking radicals liberated from wage slavery, but as a mindless army blindly following the orders of their deified leader.

Maybe the anarchists, activists and eccentrics are feeling validated by Twentieth Century Fox for offering them entertainment that presses the alienated buttons they have been sullenly nurturing and so resist a critical examination of their beloved product. The revelation that the two main characters are actually the same person is merely dismissed as bad plotting, but is much more self-aware and manipulative.

There is a tiny clue to the true "twist" in the film. There is a comment in the narration that we hear but do not understand, and so forget. This is an effective method of subliminal messaging that is demonstrated in the film by Brad Pitt's character inserting single frames of pornography into children's films. "It's called a change-over. The movie goes on and nobody has any idea." Everyone knows that different genres are designed to induce different feelings in an audience; horror movies scare, comedies make you laugh and thrillers thrill. Fight Club starts off as social commentary, designed to make you think, and moves into thriller, designed to cease thought by getting you excited. Most thrillers have completely inane utilitarian plots. I worry about thrillers that have actually raised serious and complex issues.

The hero of the film, who has spouted all this quotable philosophy, is completely insane. It seems the story so far has been an episode of acute dissociative schizophrenia and if you are on the protagonist's side you will stay on his side as he wakes up from this episode, realises that he is Brad Pitt and Edward Norton, and attempts to stop the progress of the destruction he has instigated – blowing up the credit card companies – because it is obviously wrong.

The film successfully negates everything of interest that has been presented, and does it all in the mindless thriller genre, so the cult followers of the film can remain willfully ignorant to how they have been manipulated.

When the protagonist realises that he is unable to stop the destruction of the credit card companies, he decides to kill himself. He shoots himself in the mouth, both killing himself (Brad Pitt) and not killing himself (Edward Norton). He has thus liberated himself from the man who liberated him and so is now free to watch the destruction of the buildings he tried to save.

For the first half of the film we are Edward Norton and our minds and lives are opened up by Brad Pitt. The second half of the film then reveals that Brad Pitt is a lunatic who must be stopped and that actually he is a part of us, he is an aspect of ourselves that we must destroy. We enjoy the destruction vicariously through this film, we buy the DVD and maybe even the t-shirt. Our inner anarchist is stimulated, excited and finally subdued; put back to sleep for another decade of employment, consumption and the thought-provoking philosophy of Hollywood studios.

http://www.personaproductions.com/2014/10/fight-club.html

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

mind blowing ..!!!

10/10
Author: sharath reddy from hyderabad, india
21 March 2013

first of all let me tell you this is the first time ever i am writing a review so if there are any minor mistakes please don't bother. when i searched for the best mystery thrillers on IMDb i first found this movie on that list, when i searched for the best dark comedies, again i found this movie there, and when i searched for best crime thrillers, there also i found this movie, but its name "fight club" suggests action, so i was wondering what is this movie actually about so gave it a try and trust me this movie has everything action comedy suspense crime just everything. not even for a single second i felt bored watching this, right from the first frame you will be into it, and that climax twist was just mind blowing, i really did't except this movie will turn out to be such entertaining. really a grate movie well directed good acting and i still don't understand why this movie did't get an Oscar!!? i highly recommend it to all those movie buffs over there and i tell you, without "fight club" any of your movie collection is incomplete.

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3 out of 5 people found the following review useful:

A waste of time

3/10
Author: Michael Goldfield (mgoldfield@sbcglobal.net) from Wilton, Connecticut
10 November 2000

This heavily hyped film is first rate trash. I'm surprised I had the patience to watch it for an hour.

I cannot recall another film quite this boring. However, if you think you can derive pleasure from watching young men beat one another up for no other reason than they like to beat one another up, this film is for you.

For me, it was a waste of time!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

A No-Holds-Barred Cult Classic Knockout!

10/10
Author: KissEnglishPasto from Pasto, Colombia
28 July 2016

........................................................from Pasto,Colombia...Via: L.A. CA., CALI, Colombia...and ORLANDO, FL

Surrender to FIGHT CLUB...A No-Holds-Barred Knockout! If you haven't seen it...See it! If you HAVE...See it again! In the weeks after its release, either the critics just plain DIDN'T GET IT...Or shrewdly pretended not to! Considering Fight Club's tauntingly in-your-face Political INcorrectness, it's easy to see why most critics opted to play it safe!

Here is a film that almost cries out, "HATE ME! DESPISE ME!" An occasional film will step gingerly on the toes of audience sensibilities. Fight Club drop kicks them! Yet, it is so relentlessly and quirkily original, so pathologically tantalizing...you will LOVE it...and then HATE yourself for it! Make no mistake, however, Fight Club always shows its audience ample respect. It never pontificates nor proselytizes, as would your typical formulaic Hollywood film.

The term "Ride" is employed so freely to movies today, that it has become rather meaningless. Fight Club re-invents the word! Literally, from the DNA Roller-coaster opening Credits (Accompanied by the DUST BROTHERS musical equivalent of a sustained amyl-nitrate rush!), to the metaphoric wailing ("We're still men!") of castrated testicular cancer victims, to the mesmerizing and deftly parlayed 3-way screen chemistry of Norton- Bonham Carter-Pitt, to the sharply focused pointlessness of our cruise- control, hyper-consumeristic lifestyles...

...Fight Club synthesizes both our pent-up frustration and our self- induced reluctance to communicate it, in RULE #1..."You DO NOT talk about Fight Club!" This, Ladies and Gentlemen, is one "RIDE" you DO NOT want to miss!

10*.....ENJOY/DISFRUTELA!

Any comments, questions or observations, in English or Español, are most welcome!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

strange film

3/10
Author: edwardnutbeam from Spain
24 November 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A difficult to understand film, that borders boring at some points, the fact that it has such a high rating is quite mind boggling. At some points interesting, but not the most thrilling piece of cinematography that I've seen, plays with the psychological aspects of humanity, and in the end is a confusing expo of a delusional persons realty, illustrated through "fighting" with ones self and then recruiting others to demonstrate similar violence as if it were to contribute in the bettering of individuals who ultimately degenerate in a seudo-terrorist activity and is only ended when one of the two polarities of the protagonist, causes a shot to his head, ending the personal torture of enduring this film.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Highly Overrated!!!

5/10
Author: Pumpkin_Man from United States
10 June 2015

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Last night was the very first time I have ever watched this movie. One of my Facebook friends bought me a copy because I had never seen it. I knew this movie had a cult following and after finally watching, I'm trying to understand why. Maybe if I watched it several more times, it'll grow on me, but I have a feeling I won't for quite a while. It wasn't all bad. It did have some decent and funny moments. I liked Helena Bonham Carter's character. The middle half of the movie was probably the best, but it went down-hill for me when the 'fight club' basically turned into a cult and the weird twist involving Brad Pitt's character.

Edward Norton stars as a traveling automobile company employee who suffers from insomnia. He's known as The Narrator because he visits support groups to see how other people suffer. He eventually meets a woman a lot more miserable than him named Marla Singer. After his apartment explodes, he calls up Tyler Durden, a man who he befriended on a plane. They slowly start a 'Fight Club' where guys meet up and just beat each other up. If you like movies that are supposed to be considered 'great' you might enjoy FIGHT CLUB!!!

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Masterpiece

10/10
Author: adtjoel from United Kingdom
14 August 2012

This is a superb movie on so many levels. Sometime movies get mixed reviews from critics due to the concepts or themes portrayed, or lack of understanding of a complex plot - that is exactly the reason here.

If you are thinking you are going to see movie that just involves people kicking the crap out of each other, you would be very wrong. It is so much more than that.

Just go and see it!

The undertone attacks the society we live in today - consumer driven and unrealistic expectations. It also has themes of violence but at the same time has elements of black comedy.

The acting throughout is superb - great performances from the 3 main character played by Brad Pitt, Edward Norton and Helena Bonham Carter.

***Spoilers***

You may have to watch this movie several times before you fully understand it and pick up on all the nuances but I outline some below.

When I first saw this I thought there was something wrong with the DVD because at a few points is seems to flicker (and does) not until I put it on super-slow motion did I realise it was intended. If you slow it down you can see it's his alter-ego starting to form. Not only is this alone brilliant but later on it is revealed that Tyler working at a movie theatre does the same thing - edits movies to insert just a frame or 2 - something you notice but are not entirely was there (like when I first saw it - as I said I thought there was a slight DVD fault). Extremely clever.

When he is beating himself up in his bosses office he says "for some reason I thought back to my first fight with Tyler" why? Because it was exactly the same situation.

How could a fight club possibly form? If you see 2 guys fighting in a parking lot you aren't exactly going to join in - but if you see a crazy guy essentially fight himself you could conceivably approach to see what is going on.

When Tyler is banging Marla he speaks to Ed Norton and then slams the door, Marla says "who are you talking to?" we get to find out. There are many more instances like that, the film doesn't cheat but when you find out the incredible twist you aren't expecting it.

The palette used is superb - bland, subdued, fitting in perfectly with mental illness. Then you get Brad Pitt, looks striking, blonde hair, unusual outfits - He doesn't fit in at all - again, we get to find out why. Superb.

The themes about modern society are absolutely bang on too if you think about them. Are you rich and famous? Weren't we lead to believe we could be? Do we need most of the things we clutter our lives with?

These a just a few things, there are so many more things you will notice, when you see it again and again.

Like I said. Masterpiece.

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Fincher's best film along with Se7en

10/10
Author: estebangonzalez10 from Ecuador
29 June 2012

"The first rule of Fight Club is you do not talk about Fight Club"

I will go ahead and break the rule and simply talk about Fight Club; the 1999 film that I recently added to my favorite movie list. In my opinion this is one of Fincher's masterpieces along with Se7en. David Fincher has made some great films, but none have ever rivaled his work in the 90's with these two films. Both Se7en and Fight Club are among my favorite films and consider them superior to Fincher's other great recent films like Zodiac, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, The Social Network, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo. Fight Club is an extremely violent film, but I don't think it's gratuitous because the movie really works as a satire and raises several philosophical questions about how enslaved we've become under the capitalist and advertising system, but it also points out the danger of anarchy as well. We've become materialist beings finding our purpose in our possessions and have left out the spiritual part. Sometimes we need to feel pain to remind ourselves that we are alive, and in a way this film works as a highly crafted metaphor. I loved the way the story was presented and how this surrealistic film worked. Based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel of the same name, and adapted for the screen by Jim Uhls, Fight Club is a masterpiece thanks to Fincher's direction and the performance from the excellent cast which includes Edward Norton, Brad Pitt, and Helen Bonham Carter. I really loved this movie from beginning to end, including the twist in the final act. 1999 was the year of great twists considering this is when The Sixth Sense was released as well (my all time favorite film). Fight Club is a must see film for all.

The movie begins with a scene where the narrator (Edward Norton) has a gun forced down his throat by Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), to which the narrator begins to tell the viewer what has led him to this point through voice over narration, and so the film is told in flashback. He takes us back to the days when he was an office worker who experienced severe insomniac problems. The doctor recommended that he visit a support group with men who have suffered from testicular cancer in order for him to really see the pain other people have gone through. Despite not suffering from this condition, the narrator decides to do so and discovers that going to these therapies allows him to finally being able to sleep for the first time in months. After this, he decides to attend a different support group every night and everything seems to go well, until he discovers a manic depressive woman named Marla Singer (Helena Bonham Carter) who is doing the same thing he's been doing: jumping from one support group to another. Seeing her as an intruder and a liar, the narrator can no longer find peace in the support groups and so his insomniac problems begin again. His life will change dramatically when he meets Tyler Durden, a soap maker, in an airplane and has an interesting conversation with him. They exchange numbers and when the narrator arrives home from the airport he discovers his condo has been blown up. He then decides to call Tyler and ends up moving in with him at an old abandoned complex. The two start a very different support group which they call Fight Club since they have to fight one another. The movement becomes popular and little by little they begin to form a revolutionary movement known as Project Mayhem, but things begin to escalate too fast and dangerously.

Edward Norton appeared in the big movie screen during the 90's and this was when he made his best films (American History X, Primal Fear, The People vs. Larry Flynt, Rounders, and Fight Club), although I would have to argue that his best performances were in American History X and The 25th Hour. However he is still excellent in this film as well. Brad Pitt is at his best playing the sort of chaotic and anarchic character who in some ways is similar to the narrator, but in others very different and more dangerous. He has a strong pull on Norton's character and influences him deeply. Helena Bonham Carter also plays one of her best roles as this sort of manic-depressive character who stands her own ground in this mostly male dominated film. The performance from the cast is one of the best things about Fight Club which works in every level. The visuals and special effects are also fantastic. It is a dark film with a lot of violence mixed with satire that had me laughing quite a bit. I absolutely loved this movie and the ending was just brilliant.

http://estebueno10.blogspot.com

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4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Self help to the extreme.

8/10
Author: Michael O'Keefe from Muskogee OK
26 April 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

A dark comedy with a cult following. Director David Fincher takes Chuck Palaniuk's novel to maybe a harsher and dangerous place. Known only as The Narrator(Edward Norton)is a corporate employee that is no longer enchanted by his elaborate apartment and its expensive furnishings and pretty much disenfranchised from life itself and is concerned with his lack of ability to sleep. He attends self-help groups to relish in not being as miserable as the people surrounding him. He meets a suicidal Marla Singer(Helena Bonham Carter), but wants to distance himself from her. Life changing is his meeting with a soap salesman Tyler Durden(Brad Pitt), who is anarchy's poster child. Durden thrives on being a roguish rebel and convinces The Narrator into staging impromptu boxing matches in parking lots and deserted building basements. These matches are bare chested and with bare knuckles. The fighters beat the living crap out of each other until one yells stop. Durden is credited with starting fight clubs across the nation; and eventually turns the clubs into aggression laden pranksters releasing their malice on corporate America.

Brutal violence and strong language is to be expected along with some pretty graphic images. Also in the cast: Meat Loaf, David Andrews, Zach Grenier, Jared Leto and Eion Bailey.

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7 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

"Fight Club" requires a lot of viewer trust and patience, but the reward is a very fine movie.

Author: TxMike from Houston, Tx, USA, Earth
11 August 2000

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

"Fight Club" runs a bit over 2 hours. For the first 1 hour and 51 minutes I found this movie very difficult to watch or enjoy. I kept wondering why Ed Norton's character continued to put up with Brad Pitt's out-of-control character. To me the movie seemed to be one big mess. However, my patience, and trust in the director, paid off and I had to watch much of the movie twice to really appreciate how good it is. I rate it 9 of 10 and predict it will be one of those ground-breaking films that viewers and critics refer to for years, much like "The Matrix" and "The Sixth Sense." It is definitely for someone with a mature mind, who can understand subtleties, and who enjoys "studying" a film. This film is definitely meant to be a funny and absurd take on life, but with a very dark tone to it. It isn't really about "fight clubs", although the fighting is presented as an avenue for characters to deal with their inner conflicts. It is not intended to represent reality, nor to suggest that fighting is good. It's closest prior film is perhaps "Doctor Strangelove."

I saw this film on DVD. The sound is perhaps the best I've heard so far. There are several crashes and explosions throughout the movie and the realism is just so good it made me cringe. But you have to have a good subwoofer to enjoy it all.

Now - CAUTION - SPOILERS FOLLOW - READ AT YOUR OWN RISK.

However, I think most people will enjoy the movie more, on first viewing, if they understand the total concept. So here it is.

Norton plays the "narrator", and in the introductory scenes we find out he has a conventional existence, a traveling job as a "recall coordinator" for a major automobile manufacturer. By his own admission he is "a slave to the IKEA nesting instinct", travels with his "CK shirts and DKNY shoes", and says of his total existence "close to being complete." "Fighting" is completely foreign to him. But, deep in his subconscious he hates what he is becoming, and if he were to die now his life will have been meaningless.

Brad Pitt's character, Tyler Durden, is Norton's alter-ego. They are one and the same person. In opening scenes you see various single-frame flashes (stop-action on DVD helps see this clearly) of Pitt's 'Tyler', we assume still in Norton's subconscious as he first begins to realize he hates his existence.

Then, on a buisness flight, while talking to the lady seated next to him, Norton thinks "I pray for a crash or midair collision", which is quickly followed by a highly realistic "dream collision", then Pitt's Tyler Durden the rest of the trip is actually sitting next to Norton, conversing with him. This "prayer for a crash" is the consciousness that first makes Pitt's Tyler totally real to Norton.

The rest of the movie has many scenes with both Norton and Tyler but, we see later, no one else ever sees Brad Pitt's "Tyler", they only see Norton as "Tyler." Brad Pitt's Tyler is explained this way, "You were looking for a way to change your life. You could not do this on your own. All the ways you wish you could be - that's me. I look like you want to look... am free in all the ways you are not. Little by little you're letting yourself become - Tyler Durden."

The movie's title is unfortunately misleading, because only a small part of the movie is really about the fighting, which is used as a way for disillusioned men to get out their frustrations. One line by Norton, "This kid from work, Ricky, couldn't remember if you ordered pens with blue ink or black. But Ricky was a 'god' for 10 minutes when he trounced the maitre d' of the local food court", explains the gist of why they fight. It symbolizes the one area where they are in complete control of their pleasure and pain.

That last comment, "maitre d' of the local food court" illustrates the comedic approach to much of the movie. Who ever heard of a food court having a maitre d'? How much lower in the food chain could you get? Or Ricky supplying ink pens at work? One of the fight club "assignments", to pick a fight with a stranger, then lose", has a number of very funny sequences in it.

The movie turns very dark when the fight club kicks itself "up a notch" and begins to plot the destruction of all major buildings housing credit card companies. The rationale - destroy them and all their records of debt, and everyone can start again at ground zero. When Norton's Tyler finally at 1 hour 52 minutes into the film finally figures out what he had done, he tries unsuccessfully to twarth the plan. The final scene shows him and his girlfriend standing before a window in a high-rise, and sequentially all bombs go off and the buildings crash into various piles of rubble. Reminiscent of the final scene of "Doctor Strangelove", where all the nuclear bombs are going off, destroying the world.

The closing line, Norton says, "Everything will be alright. You met me at a really strange time in my life." Again, dark humor.

The genius of this film, if there is any, resides in the premise that the two main characters represent the two extremes of the same person, and in the end the "real" Tyler Durden meets them in the middle. Once you know this premise, and can watch the whole movie in this context, I found it much more enjoyable, made much more sense, and every scene with both Tylers is done completely in character with the premise.

The DVD also has a second DVD which is devoted to extras which are in themselves very interesting if you like to study the art of film-making. However, plan to spend a minimum of 5 hours total in viewing and studying this film to get its full impact.

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