Fight Club (1999)

Written for Luther College Chips on November 4, 1999

Let me first say that “Fight Club” is not movie a movie for everyone.  Decked out in full Halloween regalia, the group that I attended the film with left the theatre representing the full range of opinion.  Some thought that it was the worst movie they’d ever seen; others thought it good but flawed.  I thought that it was fantastic.

I’m really at a loss trying to recall a movie comparable to “Fight Club”.  This is a flat-out weird movie, but weird in a good way.  Anyone going to see this under the impression that they’re seeing another “Bloodsport” or “Kickboxer”-type fighting movie is going to have the shock of their life, Jean-Claude Van Damme this is not.  Every time you think you have a handle on this film, it stops and runs in a completely different direction.

The cast and acting is very strong.  Brad Pitt always seems to give his best performances when he plays complete nut cases, continually saying really strange and yet thought-provoking lines.  He’s right at home with his character in “Fight Club.”  Edward Norton, an actor who has been quietly gaining a solid reputation, perfectly plays the part of a confused man looking for answers in his life.  At times the dialogue can be very off-the-wall and with lesser actors, could’ve ended up being corny.  In the capable hands of Pitt and Norton, the characters are believable enough that they pull off whatever the script throws at them.

Director David Fincher continues to redeem himself for the sin known as “Alien 3.”  He’s given us “Seven,” then “The Game,” and now his best effort yet with “Fight Club.”  His camera work throughout the film is great and certain elaborate camera movements toward the beginning are flat-out amazing.  “Fight Club” is a prime example of how special effects can be used to enhance the storytelling in a movie instead of serving to distract.  Also, keep your eyes out for random frames that are occasionally dropped into the film.  Fincher uses these odd flickers that pop up in the film to further throw you off balance.

“Fight Club” is a movie that is going to walk you down a darker path than you might be used to.  If you really listen to the dialogue and think about what is being said, “Fight Club” is going to challenge your thinking in ways you may not be comfortable being challenged.  “Fight Club” will play with your head, but if you let it do it’s work and go with the flow of the film you’ll be rewarded with a great movie.

D.S. Christensen
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