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Fight Club (1999)
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Review Date: October 07, 1999
Director: David Fincher
Writer: Jim Uhls
Producers: Ross Bell, Cean Chaffin, Art Linson
Actors:
Brad Pitt
Edward Norton
Helena Bonham Carter
Plot:
A young, disheartened male hooks up with another cool rockin' young male who likes to live life to its rawest, and the two men start up a local "fight club", which no one (including this critic) can talk about. When the high of the fights are no longer enough to satisfy the duo, they decide to take things to another level.
Critique:
Every now and then, a film comes along with balls big enough to pull you by the hair, bang you against the wall and order you to "wake the fuck up!" and question your entire purpose of life. AMERICAN BEAUTY was a variance of that type of film, primarily targeted to the baby-boom family audience. FIGHT CLUB is the fantasy answer to many of the questions facing the doomed male "generation Xers" of the nineties. When contemplating your reality is a task too depressing to reflect upon, why not invent your own tangible existence and allow it to replenish your lost spirit and sense of direction? This film gave me a strong sense of power, a visceral energy, opening my eyes to aspects of my life which had previously laid dormant. I understood Norton's character. He spoke to me. He understood me. He understood a lot of my buddies. We understood him. This film is NOT for everyone. It's quite long at close to two and a half hours, it's deeper than the commercials make it out to be, and it's definitely going to be appreciated on certain levels more by men than women. And that ain't sexist, that's just like I think THELMA & LOUISE is a great movie, but some women considered it to be their wake-up call. FIGHT CLUB would be ours.

Most importantly, besides all of the philosophical poignancies of this film, is the fact that the movie entertained me thoroughly. It had a Fincher-feel (We could say that now), many unique ways of presenting the film's developments, a dark, brooding look, excellent portrayals by all of the actors involved, a pounding soundtrack, which I wish they had utilized to a stronger degree, black humor (!), and a conclusion which can only make you want to see the film all over again. Toss all that in with plenty of LOST HIGHWAY-type touches, homosexual undertones, and oh yes...a hot, steaming plate of the ol' ultra-violence!! Unlike some people, I do not think any of the violence in this film was overdone, in fact, once you understand the message of the film, you should truly be able to appreciate its precise raison-d'etre. It's not even about the fight clubs themselves (Nuff said)! Another thing I loved about this film is its trailer, which thankfully gave us very little about the plot, and left so much more to the imagination. Excellent appetizer! Another sign of a great film is when it has me chattering it up with my buddies afterwards. FIGHT CLUB kept us yapping for hours on end. Figuring this thing out, then another thing, and yet another. Very cool!

One piece of advice that I will hand over to people who have yet to see this film is that you should go in with a completely open mind. It is very important for you, much like the main character in this film, to flush all of your preconceptions and expectations of a film. See it as a painting and study its texture while discovering its many sorted hidden messages. Or better yet...see it so that you could check out Brad Pitt's crazy six-pack abs!! Wow, what a man and whatta movie! See it or I'll have to fight you in the parking lot after work!
(c) 2018 Berge Garabedian

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