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Fight Club

movie reviewmovie reviewmovie review out of 4 Movie Review: Fight Club

Starring: Edward Norton, Brad Pitt
Director: David Fincher
Rated: R
RunTime: 139 Minutes
Release Date: October 1999
Genre: Drama

*Also starring: Helena Bonham Carter, Meat Loaf, Jared Leto, Eion Bailey

Review by John Beachem
3½ stars out of 4

It's always easy to spot a director's style. Get about halfway through a film, and all the tell tale signs are there. However, in David Fincher's case, the signs can be spotted in the opening credits. From these bizzare credits and character introductions, to the dark filming locations, to the unusual music, Fincher is a master of foreboding, creepy atmospheres.

The story revolves around the narrator, Jack (Edward Norton), an insomniac who's slowly dying thanks to his boring existence. Frequenting support groups for illnesses he doesn't posess seems to aleviate his insomnia until he meets Marla (Helena Botham Carter) ,who somehow ruins the experience by being a fellow faker. Shortly thereafter he meets up with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), an man who seems to be everything Jack always wished he could be. Together, Jack and Tyler form a club where men who are bored with their lives go to beat each other up. While things are going well with the club, Tyler seems to be forming plans for escalating the club behind Jack's back.

David Fincher's previously well known works have been "Se7en" and "The Game", which are both dark films which mess with ones mind. This latest venture into the unusual is based on Chuck Palahniuk's novel, the primary message in "Fight Club" seems to be that one should throw off the shackles of everyday life and be all that one wants to be. This message is given in a story which, at first glance, appears to be about nothing more than a bunch of guys beating each other up every night. While there is certainly a lot of violence and an ungodly amount of blood, there is also some wonderful dialogue, a few truly hilarious scenes, and terrific acting all around.

To begin with, this movie is not even remotely appropriate for younger audiences. There are more scenes here which show people being beaten to bloody, barely living pulps than one can count. There are also a few gross out scenes that really do their job quite well (almost too well as a matter of fact). Swearing is rampant, and sex is rather prevalant throughout most of the movie. So please, don't take any children to see this.

Now, my MPAA warning out of the way, on to the good stuff. For all the one-liner fans out there, this movie is full of them. A great example would be "On a long enough time-line, everyones survival rate is zero". In fact, the dialogue is so witty, insightful, and humorous that it's a little difficult to believe it's coming from the mouths of the characters involved here.

As for the acting, Edward Norton is terrific, as always, and it's entirely possible he'll be in the running for a little gold statue on his mantel. Brad Pitt, who has shown that he can do well when given the right roles (12 Monkeys, Se7en) is absolutely hilarious in the role of the out of control Tyler. Helena Botham Carter, who audiences would know best for her roles in "Mary Shelly's Frankenstein" and "Mighty Aphrodite", is perfect as the rather disturbed third party in this trio.

I don't want to give too much of this film away, because the plot twists are a lot of the fun here. Suffice to say, you'll never see the end coming. To sum up, for a fun, insightful, and very gruesome movie, catch "Fight Club". I fully recommend it and award it four and a half stars.

* * * * * - One of the greatest movies ever made, see it now. * * * * - Great flick. Try and catch this one. * * * - Okay movie, hits and misses. * * - Pretty bad. See it if you've got nothing better to do. * - One of the worst movies ever. See it only if you enjoy pain.

Copyright 2000 John Beachem

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