Projections - Movie Reviews

Fight Club

Fight Club begins where it ends...and then, via a wonderful narration by Jack (portrayed by Edward Norton), we begin a brilliant journey I have not seen the likes of since A Clockwork Orange.  The casting of Norton and his ability to transform himself into any character brings a depth rarely seen in today's films.  You will remember Norton from the films Rounders, Primal Fear and Woody Allen's Everyone Says I Love You.  An actor with his abilities is hard to forget.

Enter Jack (played by Norton) a very mild mannered analyst for a major car company, who has become cynical and suffers from chronic insomnia.  Seeking a cure for his insomnia, Jack visits his doctor and is "prescribed" a dose of reality.  This reality comes in the suggestion that he attend a support group meeting for survivors of testicular cancer.  It is here that Jack finds comfort and an emotional release that allows him to sleep.  Now hooked on this new found tension release, Jack "schedules" a support group meeting a night and meets another "faker" in the guise of Marla Singer (played by Helena Bonham Carter).  Marla is not looking for emotional release, she simply enjoys the meetings from an entertainment value.

We next see Jack at his office and on the road.  During one flight, we get the true picture of Jack's life in his description of travel encapsulated in a description of his "single serving" airline food and his fellow travelers as "single serving friends".  He goes on to explain his job of determining the cause of fatal automobile crashes and the recall costs to repair the problems versus litigation costs in almost a monotone diatribe to a fellow traveler and one can see his disgust for himself and his employer.

Enter Tyler Durden (portrayed by Brad Pitt ), the on the edge soap maker / salesman with a truly unique view of life.  It is here that Jack's comfortable life deteriorates in rapid fashion.  His luggage lost, a very interesting explanation of airline policy on vibrator ownership and his apartment blown up leads Jack to call Tyler.  With no place to live, Jack begins to live with Tyler in what can only be called the dregs of the city.  The two soon begin a "physical" therapy by beating each other in planned fights.  Born is Fight Club.  Using physical violence as a release and a validation of their lives, Fight Club soon turns into an unspoken organization bordering on cultism.  This is just the beginning of the spiral into man's need to have control of his life and the power over others we all dream of.

There are many twists and turns throughout this film and to reveal them probably would not destroy your viewing pleasure, but would diminish it greatly.  Let me go on to say that the acting is superb by all.  The supporting cast of Meatloaf (of singing fame) doing an impressive job of portraying Bob and as the pretty boy Angel Face is a relative new comer of Jared Leto.  Their physical presence is not eye candy or the parts given as a favor.  They deliver in all aspects and it should deliver them some more substantial parts in the future.

 You may hear that this film glorifies violence...it is violent...but there is no glorification, only a graphic of the animal man is.  There are some wonderful scenes with bits of dark humor and some very graphic scenes of physical violence through this seemingly meandering film.  When taken out of context, as I'm sure the media will do, this can not stand without seeming to be horrible.  Take them in the context of the film and you will see the brilliant direction of David Fincher and the screen play of Jim Uhls will lead you to depths of your own soul that are screaming to show their individuality - your own need to be seen an individual and not a member of society.  This may be uncomfortable at times, as we are all looking after the greater good of society, but the animal within is closer to the surface than  we would like to acknowledge and control has become just an illusion.

The quirky interaction between Jack and Tyler combined with Jack's relationship with his boss and some very dark satire and humor are the vehicles that allow this movie to enter the depths of internal conflict and madness that are needed to move this experience to conclusion.  Fight Club is a dark movie with some frightening scenes that may cause the weak of heart to turn away form the screen; but the need is there and without the blood and struggle, it would be impossible to show the effects of the dehumanization which has occurred.  This loss of personal power and control can be seen in day to day life as we see the senseless killings in our schools, work places and streets.  I do not, nor does this movie condone the violence, but perhaps it should be seen as a wake-up call to society and to the power brokers of the mega-corporations that man needs a meaning to life...man needs to feel some control...man needs to feel some power over his own existence.

Be prepared for some conversation after the film and lots of water cooler talk about this one.  Remember that when Kubrick released A Clock Work Orange, it was regarded as an ultra-violent / violence promoting film.  Today it is seen as a classic.  Fight Club is likely to garner the same reputation by those only capable of seeing "artsy" and comedic films as having value.  This is a gutsy portrayal of the real world today.

Fight Club should bring many nominations in the various awards categories and is an absolute must see on the big screen as the cinematography plays a dramatic part in this film.

In Short: Go see it!

 
Frank
Chris
Tony
Jim
Kathleen
Avg.
Fight Club
C+
 
A-
A-
D
B-

 
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