Fight Club (movie review)
It’s rare that a movie has just about everything I’m looking for in a story – namely, interesting characters, mystery, drama, comedy and violence – but Fight Club delivers, plus includes some weird stuff, and I’m always a fan of weird stuff.
I generally hate movies that start near the end and then rewind (it’s one of my most hated film devices – I particularly hate its use in Men of Honor), but Fight Club is a rare exception where it enhances the movie and makes us get a taste of the narrator’s disorientation.
Oh yeah, Edward Norton as the narrator… his character doesn’t seem to have a name. That’s kinda interesting. Of course, that’s sort of the point, right?
OK, OK, I assume everyone has seen Fight Club by now, but in case you haven’t, I’ll save the spoilers for after the jump and just say that Fight Club is a nearly perfect movie that holds up to repeated viewings – in fact, the second time you see it, you’ll get a whole new perspective on the flick. I give it a 9.5 out of 10.
Join the spoiler discussion here!
As I was saying, the narrator has no name, but he shouldn’t have a name because of his personality crisis. His real personality is slowly being taken over by the new one. Perhaps Tyler Durden existed before the narrator became aware of him. This just occurred to me: early in the film, the narrator goes to the doctor about his insomnia.
DOCTOR: “No, you can’t die from insomnia.”
NARRATOR: “What about narcolepsy? I wake up in strange places; I have no idea how I got there.”
Perhaps the narrator doesn’t have narcolepsy – perhaps this is simply the emergence of Tyler Durden, the first fledgeling steps of Tyler acting independently – during these times, Tyler is renting the house, working at the theater, as a waiter and making/selling soap already when the narrator meets him. Interesting to think about, but doesn’t really matter. That’s what makes this movie so fun – it’s so interesting and there aren’t any wrong answers.
There are only a few tiny bits of this movie that stuck in my craw. For example:
“Is that what a man looks like?”
The narrator remarks to Tyler after seeing a Calvin Klein ad. I would have left this out of the movie strictly because Brad Pitt and Edward Norton look like Calvin Klein models.
“We now had corporate sponsorship. This is how Tyler and I were able to have Fight Club every night of the week.”
But the use of the basement was free and the narrator knows Fight Club goes on without him as Bob was already a member and had been going on weeknights, so what did they need money for?
“I wanted to destroy something beautiful.”
That line just bugs the crap out of me. It just doesn’t sound right coming out of a character in this movie.
This is really just nitpicking. Fight Club is one of those movies that’s so good that people come out gunning for it, just to be a troll. For example, you’ll see lots of reviews that insist the movie is ripe with plot holes, but they never bother to list them, never mind explain them. In any case, I would argue that it’s difficult to argue about plot holes in a movie where what’s real and what’s not is up for debate. This goes for American Psycho, too – although the line between fantasy and reality starts to blur in a way that is a bit more obvious when the ATM asks Bateman to “Feed me a stray cat.” Yeah. anyway…
You watch a movie like Fight Club because it’s interesting – so many details, great performances, directing, score, production design – sure, it may be too violent for some, but overall, I would say this movie is accessible to most audiences. It’s the sort of movie I do the high-pitched reaction to when people say they’ve never seen it. “You’ve never seen Fight Club?!?” I grab one of our three copies of the movie, drop it in the DVD player and off we go: Planet Tyler. If it’s been a while, go visit – this movie is a blast.