Friday, June 27, 2014

Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) Review

I suppose one of the best things about being on my own in University is that I get time to catch up with loads of films that I should've watched but never got round to. I've seen the likes of Chronicle, Se7en and The Matrix since being here but the big ones I wanted to watch were Fight Club and Django Unchained. Having now seen Fight Club, I am prepared to deliver my opinion on what is often sighted as one of the greats!.....if you say so...

Fight Club sees us following a man (Edward Norton) who suffers from mental issues leading to insomnia and trouble at work who attends meetings not aimed at him but he still goes for the sense of release. His life changes forever however when he meets an aggressive alpha-male soap maker named Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) as the two bond over their strange lust for violence. This leads them to start up the eponymous fight club where men are allowed to just beat the crap out of each other for the thrill of it. The idea catches on as clubs are set up across the country but when Tyler wants to take it the next level, our protagonist is left at an internal conflict based on what's ethical and what's not.

Right of the bat I can tell you that I loved Brad Pitt and Edward Norton here. They work off each other very well and are the sole reason to watch this movie. The film revolves around them so it was crucial that the two leads had to be endearing enough to keep your attention throughout and the duo of Pitt and Norton win with flying colours. The rest of the cast kind of fall into the background. Helena Bonham Carter starts of in a way that it seems like she's a major character. Granted she plays a part but she's put to the side once the real plot starts. Also seeing Jared Leto and Meat Loaf advertised so high up in the opening credits is almost laughable considering that the number of their scenes probably land in the single digits.

Fight Club is probably most well known for the amount of philosophy and deep meaning that can be applied and/or extracted. It's a deep, deep film which is one of the best things about it. It would probably be the best thing about it if it weren't' for the last third of the film. Yes, we all know the big twist of Fight Club but, for the sake of those who don't, I won't give it away but I'll just say that it felt very unnecessary. The author of the book even admitted that he came up with it half way through writing it and it shows. A lot of what I was able to apply and take away from it was just thrown out the window. Of course, this gave rise to brand new ideas to consider but, even then, it felt a bit unnecessary....although it leads to some excellent easter eggs and Fight Club becomes one of those films you have to keep re-watching just to see everything.

I've come to the conclusion that Fight Club runs smoothly based on two elements, the lead actors and the depth. While the last third could've been handled significantly better with an twist that was literally thrown in for the sake of it, the amount of good things to come of it are high. David Fincher is clearly a very compotent director with films such as Se7en and The Social Network under his belt and I know people who are eagerly awaiting his next film, Gone Girl, so Fight Club is just another reason for me to show interest in his upcoming projects.

While the last third could be fixed, there are loads of elements that go into this film that really make it stand out.

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