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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

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Review by Susan Granger
3½ stars out of 4

First rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. So, right away, I'm in trouble with this bleak, profoundly disturbing, testosterone-laden contemporary study of emasculation and insanity. Edward Norton is the nameless narrator. He's a bored, bitter, yuppie insomniac with no family or close friends. For company, he joins cancer and other disease-support groups, while Brad Pitt is Tyler Durden, a devious, charismatic anarchist who challenges him, taunting "How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?" He introduces Norton to the raw, animalistic instinct for survival. When their bare-fist brawls outside a bar attract cheering crowds, they create an underground network of secret, private clubs where self-destructive, disillusioned professionals can seek solace from despair by pummeling each other to smithereens. "This is your life," Durden says, "and it's ending one day at a time." Soon Durden becomes a subversive cult hero, a grungy messiah for the sado-masochists of an emotionally-dead generation suffering from the onslaught of consumerism and technology. And Helena Bonham Carter is the funny, foul-mouthed, chain-smoking, self-help junkie who comes between the two men. Adapted for the screen by Jim Uhls from Chuck Palahniuk's gritty best-seller and directed by David Fincher ("Seven"), it's a fast-paced, stylized man's movie, exploring the psychology of violence, complete with a sub-plot involving bath soap made from human body fat from a liposuction clinic. Both Norton and Pitt deliver knockout performances, relishing the wry, cruel nihilist humor. On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, "Fight Club" is an insidious, cynical, savage 8. But it's socially irresponsible and repellent in its graphic depictions of extreme violence and brutality.

Copyright 2000 Susan Granger

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