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Sting Like A Bee

David Fincher's Fight Club changes the rules

First point: Fight Club is a fascinating film.
Point two: Its denouement is slightly untenable.
Thirdly: I willingly suspend my disbelief at the movies. No reason to spend eight bucks to naysay for two hours.
Hanging with Courtney Love must have toughened up sweet Ed Norton. Though for the most part of Fight Club his oxford-clad character is a simpering insomniac, the more he fights, and the more of his dull office-job, furniture-collecting life he throws away, the more gritty and fearless he becomes.

That's really the central message of this hyper-modern, beautifully shot story, based on a novel by Chuck Palahniuk. Cast off the possessions that shackle you; fear no pain, fear no man, fear no one and nothing. It's very spiritual, actually, an age-old idea that's rather refreshingly packaged. Some will call it dumb, but it spoke to me (aren't I a card-carrying member of the lost generation?)
By befriending the daring, dangerous soapmaker-projectionist Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) over a gnarly tousle behind a grimy bar in AnyMajorCity, U.S.A., Ed Norton's Everyman is able to find the catharsis he needs to sleep-release that previously he could find only by sneaking into terminal illness support groups (enter the lovely and cancerous Marla Singer, played by Helena Bonham Carter). Our boy and Durden start an underground men's fight club which quickly turns into something of a cult as the men test their physical pain thresholds. "Self-improvement is masturbation," states Durden, "Self-destruction, well, that might be the answer." Tyler starts making more than soap with his chemistry skills, the fight club becomes more of an army. Urban prankster-style mayhem and violence quickly descend upon the major cities of the nation as Norton's befuddled insomniac struggles to keep a sense of morality afloat in a murk of full-on masculine freedom.

While the action and intrigue of the film are indeed interesting and exciting, what is more compelling is Ed Norton's inner monologue; his narration and the accompanying cinematography provide a muddled yet matter-of-fact view of the increasingly serious proceedings. Spouting philosophy more than shoot-em-up one liners, director David Fincher's Fight Club is action cinema for a brave new world.


Fight Club
rated R
2 hours 19 minutes

Brad Pitt
Edward Norton
Helena Bonham Carter
Jared Leto

website: Fight Club