The Matrix Reloaded

Fight Club - Film Review

Fight Club

The Matrix Reloaded


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Fight Club
Review written by: Alex Sandell

Yes, that IS
Meat Loaf (as Bob)
squeezing Edward
Norton (as Jack)
between his
gigantic, male tits.

What's the story?

If I told you, I'd have to leave the club.   

So how is it? (Get to the point, already)

"Self-improvement is masturbation.  Self-destruction might be the answer."
-Tyler Durden, Fight Club

On the bodily fluids scale, Fight Club beats the hardcore porno, Cum Shots, by at least 10 squirts.  Blood, snot, piss and cum splatter across the screen.  A "leftover liposuction" scene will have people avoiding the shower faster than Psycho did nearly forty years ago when good old Norman Bates hacked up Marion Crane, and will probably become just as memorable.  If I wrote taglines for films (something I would be doing, if someone would hire me to do it - hint, hint), I would sum Fight Club up with this blurb; "Just when you thought it was safe to wash your face . . . along comes Fight Club." 

This movie is going to cause controversy.  Lots of it.  This movie is going to be attacked by every right wing parent's group and religious organization known to (annoy) man.   This movie is going to be blamed for all the vandalism, casual sex and murder that occurs across the world for at least the next ten years.  This movie will be the excuse hundreds of nuts give for going off the handle.  These are all good things; people seem to need something other than reality to blame for society's problems.  The only thing that bothered me is that this movie is conflicted.

The film's protagonists are opposed to anything corporate.  They despise it.  They tell you that it's "only after you've lost everything that you're free to do anything."   At the same time, the film is shoving product placements down our throat every chance it gets.  This odd hypocrisy may be to cause the audience to become as unhinged and semi-clueless as the characters that are voluntarily beating each other to a pulp up on the screen, but I still found it to be an irritating, and unnecessary, double-standard.   Regardless of how you place it, a product placement is still a product placement, and the corporations that made the products which were placed wouldn't have placed them if they thought it would cause their company to lose money.  I also don't think they'd do it if they felt they, or at least their products, would be viewed in an unfavorable light by certain factions of the buying public.  Then again, it would be hard to make anything come off as unfavorable in a film directed as creatively as Fight Club.

The directing, which was done by the atmospheric ex-MTV wiz, David Fincher (Se7en, The Game), is, without a doubt, doing its all to leave you feeling rattled.  The camera twists and turns at such a rate that it will have your heart palpitating and your mind spinning.   There isn't a slow moment in this film, and there's a surprise around every corner.   It may not always be a pleasant surprise, but even Santa Claus drops a couple pieces of coal and a stick in a stocking every so often.  If given to the right kid, a couple pieces of coal and a stick can become a weapon . . . or a work of art.   What Fincher gives us is a work of art featuring a wide assortment of weapons.   What a guy. 

Fincher can't take all the credit, though.  The acting, especially by the versatile Edward Norton, is top-notch.  This guy could play a rock and make it come off as human.  Brad Pitt puts on a psycho-show so impressive that guys may temporarily stop being jealous that they don't look like him. Shit, they even pulled a halfway decent performance out of Meat Loaf.  Not one worthy of forgiving him for plaguing us in the late seventies and early nineties with those horrible Bat Out Of Hell albums, but a fairly good performance, nonetheless.  (Plus, you've gotta admire a man willing to play a fairly significant roll with gargantuan fake tits plastered upon him, the entire time.)  Helena Bonham Carter does great with what the writer gave her to work with, although her character could have been a bit more fleshed out, and believable.  

Bonham's lack of character development is one of the few errors I noticed in Fight Club, and the only weak link that I could pick out of Jim Uhls's debut screenplay.  Occasionally, the snappy dialogue, written by Uhls, borders on brilliant.   Uhls, basing his material on the exceptional novel written by Chuch Palahniuk, can make you shiver with words, alone.  This isn't a screenplay you'll be quick to forget, and it features dialogue that you will always remember. 

What you get with Fight Club is A Clockwork Orange on crank.  It's wild, shocking, and even romantic, in a twisted sort of way.  It's bloody, it's controversial, and it's going to test the limits of Freedom of Speech in much the same way Natural Born Killers did 5 years ago.  Finally, it's funny, it's satirical and it's going to have some people walking out of the theater, disgusted (two left during the screening I was at). 

Fuck the protestors . . . disgusting is good.  Get some balls on ya and go see Fight Club.  It isn't often a movie like this comes around, and it would be a shame to miss it. 

What does it make you feel like eating?

Anything but Clam Chowder.

What are you selling us here???

About a million things.  The only ones I can remember are Calvin Klein and Starbucks.  Remember, "you are not your khakis." 

If it won an Oscar, what would it be?

"Nice punch in society's gut, just when society needed a punch" - Fight Club

On a scale of 1-10?


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Text (Copyright) 1999 Alex Sandell [All Rights Reserved]. If you copy this, without my permission, I'll turn your face into a mashed potato with my bloody fist! 

Pic (Copyright) 1999 20th Century Fox [All Rights Reserved]. 

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