Adapted from Chuck Palahniuk's novel, David Fincher's controversial drama explores themes of masculinity and violence in contemporary society. Edward Norton stars as Jack, a bored insomniac, determined to inject some excitement into his life. He meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a charismatic soap salesman who believes that the only way to escape the banality of modern existence is through violence. To these ends, Jack and Tyler set up 'Fight Clubs', where men can engage in brutal bare-knuckle fights. However, friction develops between the two men when they become rivals for the attentions of Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter).
All films require a certain suspension of disbelief, Fight Club perhaps more than others; but if you're willing to let yourself get caught up in the anarchy, this film, based on the novel by Chuck Palahniuk, is a modern-day morality play warning of the decay of society. Edward Norton is the unnamed protagonist, a man going through life on cruise control, feeling nothing. To fill his hours, he begins attending support groups and 12-step meetings. True, he isn't actually afflicted with the problems, but he finds solace in the groups. This is destroyed, however, when he meets Marla (Helena Bonham Carter), also faking her way through groups. Spiralling back into insomnia, Norton finds his life is changed once again, by a chance encounter with Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), whose forthright style and no-nonsense way of taking what he wants appeal to our narrator. Tyler and the protagonist find a new way to feel release: they fight. They fight each other, and then as others are attracted to their ways, they fight the men who come to join their newly formed Fight Club. Marla begins a destructive affair with Tyler, and things fly out of control, as Fight Club is transformed into a nationwide fascist group.
The depiction of violence in Fight Club is unflinching, but director David Fincher's film is captivating and beautifully shot, with camerawork and effects that are almost as startling as the script. The movie is packed with provocative ideas and images--from the satirical look at the emptiness of modern consumerism to quasi-Nietzschean concepts of "beyond good and evil"--that will leave the viewer with much food for thought to take away. Pitt and Norton are an unbeatable duo, and the film has a great sense of humour too. Even if it leaves you with a sense of profound discomfort this is a movie that you'll have to see again and again, if for no other reason than to just to take it all in. --Jenny Brown, Amazon.com
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.