Fight Club is an excellent, fast-paced, darkly comic tale which attacks the monotony of the 9-5 lifestyle and rejects modern society wholesale. This is a hard hitting and challenging film based on the book by Chuck Palahniuk, featuring a big budget, great direction and a fantastic cast - you cannot afford to miss this film.
The action is narrated by the main character, Jack (Ed Norton), a chronic insomniac who hates his empty meaningless job and seems incapable of forming real connections with other people. He longs for something different, something that really makes him feel alive. Filling his life with consumer trinkets is not enough for Jack and it doesn´t help him sleep. He tries everything but is only able to get a decent nights rest after visiting a self-help group for men with testicular cancer, despite the fact he doesn´t have the disease. He soon becomes addicted to the vibe and begins to visit more and more groups. Eventually he encounters Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), another misery tourist and the magic wears off, he is back where he started, sleepless and unsatisfied.
Jack begins to lose the plot and at his lowest ebb, on a business flight he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt). Tyler is a wildly charismatic and completely unconventional human being who helps Jack to let go of the last of his materialist leanings. After his apartment mysteriously explodes Jack moves in with Tyler in a run down abandoned house and they start up an underground fight club for men who feel the need to let out some tension through the medium of severe violence. This popular haunt soon grows and spawns a philosophy; the two begin to build an army of space monkeys to do their bidding and things get increasingly crazy until the breathtaking grand finale.
David Fincher is the director and he does a really tremendous job here. Previous credits include Seven, which is also an excellent film. Fincher has a very interesting, fast-paced and incredibly slick style of direction which keeps the audience on the edge throughout, there simply is no let up in this movie. The narration cuts back and forth and the story unfolds in quite a disjointed way but Fincher holds it together expertly and prevents the complexities from weighing down the incredible pace.
Some of the scenes in the film are unforgettable and beautifully put together. The catalogue style overlays as Jack chooses his pointless IKEA lifestyle furnishings are really clever. All of the action is brilliantly directed, flashy and exciting but also consistent and with a realistic feel. The scene where Jack goes mad and beats one of his space monkeys into a bloody pulp is really pretty disturbing. My favourite is of course the grand finale which sees various skyscrapers explode and topple set to the spine tingling tones of the Pixies - Where is my Mind.
The acting is also very good and goes a long way towards making this film work. Ed Norton has proven himself a truly great actor and he is typically on form here as the neurotic Jack. Brad Pitt turns in the best performance of his career and probably the most challenging as the personification of id, Tyler Durden. Helena Bonham Carter is really convincing as Marla and her scenes with Jack and Tyler give the film some sort of grounding. Meat Loaf pops up as Bob, the cancer stricken cry baby with large breasts and he is surprisingly good in the role. The rest of the supporting cast all do their jobs well and lend some reality to the proceedings.
The other key factors in making this a truly excellent film are the script and storyline. The original book is very good and great material to base a film on. Jim Uhls has expertly distilled it into a slick 139 minute film while retaining the essence of the source. The dialogue is really well written and the plot is very clever, packing a terrific punch towards the end.
This film is one of the rare beauties which occasionally emerge from Hollywood. A challenging, clever, well acted, beautifully shot piece of entertainment which makes you think. All concerned can be proud of a job extremely well done and this is an event too rare to miss - this film deserves to be watched and has enough depth to merit several viewings. This is your life, and it´s ending one minute at a time...so watch the damn film now.