Fight Club

Year: 1999
Directed By: David Fincher
Written By: Chuck Palahniuk (novel) Jim Uhls (screenplay)

RYAN’S REVIEW

This movie instantly became one of my favorite movies when it came out and I watched it frequently. It’s full of little things that you notice with each additional viewing that make it fun to watch multiple times. I was fifteen when it was released and it probably wasn’t the best influence to spend so much time with during my formative years but there were no lasting effects. The anarchy and rebellion that goes into the story is something that can influence plenty of teens, and all young men love to fight, or watch fights at the very least.  This movie has without doubt made its mark on our society and that is still true over a decade later.   It is a dark movie but it is an incredibly interesting one as well.  It is based off a book that is equally if not more dark and disturbing.  According to the writer many people were unaware that it was actually based off a book when it came out, and he frequently came into contact with people unknowingly influenced by what was actually his creation.

Chuck Palahniuk is an interesting writer with a style like none other I have ever seen.  He has written many books but Fight Club is the only one that I have read.  I did really enjoy the book but it has been a few years and I am due for a reread because I can’t remember enough about it now.  (Thanks George R.R. Martin, you have pushed other authors out of my memory, but I don’t mind because your books are awesome). I do remember that I liked the book but it was different. The ways in which the movie was different though seemed to only bring more to the story collectively.  The main thing I remember from the book wasn’t even in the book itself but in an afterword written by Palahniuk about how popular the story had become and the mark it left on our culture.  He tells a story about being at a book signing in London.  One reader came to him raving about what was done to food in the book and saying that he himself had served a famous person tainted food in the same fashion. When the reader refused to tell Palahniuk who the famous person was he leveraged the autograph to get the info.  The reader then told him he worked at the only five star restaurant in the entire country of the UK and that the Queen of England had eaten his cum, FIVE times.  I will never forget that for as long as I live because if the Queen of F-ing England isn’t safe from eating cum then we are all in danger at all times.  All I can say is never send anything back and always be incredibly nice to the person serving you. They are preparing your food and they are usually young and immature people who wouldn’t even think twice about doing something disgusting to your food. Famous people shouldn’t even eat out at all, and the cops shouldn’t go anywhere but Subway because they can see their food prepared there.

This was the third uniquely awesome movie David Fincher had made in a row.  It came right after both Seven and The Game which both had the same ability to blow your mind at the end.  At the time I considered Fincher to be the best young director out there and his work backed that up.  I personally have not been impressed with anything that he has done since this movie although just about every movie he has made since has been critically acclaimed and loved by the audiences alike.  I didn’t care for Panic Room, Zodiac, Benjamin Buttonor The Social Network all for different reasons but I specifically thought The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo was awful.  I think that was one of the worst books I have ever read despite its success, and I think the movie was even worse.  The thing for me was that I got really invested in that mystery. I could not wait to find out who killed that girl and how.  When I found out **SPOILER ALERT** that she had been alive the whole time I was pissed, what a rip off, and the movie was even worse.  Literally all throughout the movie he has a picture of the woman as an adult on his wall under a different name and nobody that has been searching for her for thirty years looked at it and noticed her? Blomkvist easily obtains the picture of her living under the oh so clever alias of another relative, and they couldn’t figure this thing out in thirty years? Of course it wasn’t like that in the book but I just really thought it made the whole movie ridiculous. The movie was OK with me up until then and it was a well made film but I still think it was overrated. The story as a whole was just such a letdown, and I thought the Blomkvist character in the book was so overdone.  Everywhere he goes women of all types just throw themselves at him, it’s just tacky if nothing else, the pipe dream of a man that didn’t get laid enough in his life.  Daniel Craig wasn’t bad in the role though and the character wasn’t so annoying in the film. If nothing else the movie was great for seeing a lot of Mara Rooney naked, and she looked so sexy with those piercings and tattoos. Apparently there aren’t many who share my opinion of the book and movie though, they were both very successful.

This movie is dark, gritty, and mind blowing.  It was really well made and the screenwriter did a great job of adapting the story into a film.  What made this movie just as good though was the acting.  Brad Pitt was the king of cool in this movie, and he solidified his image with men as much as he already had with women in this movie. Pitt was more ripped than any man should be in this movie, he smokes nonstop, and he always had something either interesting or really cool to say.  Ed Norton was just as good and it is his character we see the most arc from.  What I never really realized until someone pointed it out to me was that Norton doesn’t have a name in the movie.  His character in the credits is simply listed as Narrator. Norton was on a role at the time this movie was made and he was in several great movies at the time.  His star has faded in the last ten years though and I am not sure why.  I know that he got into a dispute with the studio over a writing credit for The Incredible Hulk and was not asked back to do The Avengers because of it.  I think that was a shame because I really liked Norton as Bruce Banner and was hoping for him to get back on top with the franchise.  Helena Bonham Carter is so dirty in this movie, yet still has something sexy to her that I think everyone can see.  I am a big fan of Carter and while for some reason she chooses roles that make her look unattractive I still find her to be sexy, even as she gets older.  This movie nearly got an NC-17 rating for a line she spoke that was taken from the book but it was cut to get the R rating.  At one point she tells Tyler Durden that she wants him to get her pregnant so she can have his abortion.  I think cutting it was understandable, even for a pro-choice person that seems too wrong.

Speaking of dialogue that was cut I think it is important to mention where it was simply changed.  The ingredients given for napalm and dynamite in the movie are not correct.  They were changed for the obvious reasons although the book does describe the correct ingredients in it.  Good thing for all of us that a lot fewer people read the book, but that information is unfortunately available to anybody clever enough to get on the internet, so beware.  I can see this movie being a dangerous influence to some people but that isn’t the case for all.  For all people of sound mind this is simply a fascinating and awesome movie.  I can’t say that I would recommend this movie to anyone because I don’t see it as being for everyone.  It has found an audience in very unusual demographics though according to the afterword by Palahniuk in his book.  So while maybe I’m not sure who and who I should recommend this movie to I can tell you that it is definitely worth your time to see it if you haven’t already.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Fight Club is one of those movies that most people have seen and loved. I think it mostly had to do with Brad Pitt being a completely gorgeous little badass. This movie is twisted in every sense of the word, and is put together in a seamless way. It is a super dark movie and follows the life of Edward Norton as his character changes throughout the movie and ultimately comes to a dramatic realization in the end.

I would be surprised to hear that you haven’t seen this movie, especially if you read our blog, so I will say go now and watch this movie. It will only add to your cool factor if nothing else, and other than that it is just damn well worth your time.

NEXT MOVIE: Fire in the Sky (1993)

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