Monday, March 14, 2011

Back in Time Review: Fight Club (1999)

Fight Club (Two-Disc Collector's Edition)How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?

The first rule of Fight Club is "don't talk about Fight Club," so I'll assume that Brad Pitt or Ed Norton will come to beat me up promptly after this review posts. In case you haven't seen this movie I'll try to avoid any spoilers because, well, discovering the plot is at least half the fun of the movie.

As I already said, the movie stars Edward Norton (the "good" guy) and Brad Pitt (the "bad" boy), plus Helena Bonham Carter and Meatloaf. The write-up on IMDB says, "A ticking-time-bomb insomniac and a slippery soap salesman channel primal male aggression into a shocking new form of therapy. Their concept catches on, with underground "fight clubs" forming in every town, until an eccentric gets in the way and ignites an out-of-control spiral toward oblivion." (Apparently IMDB is also willing to flaunt in the face of the first rule.)

We didn't see this movie in the theater and honestly I was a bit skeptical about renting it because it was so popular. See, that's the way I roll - diametrically against the flow of mass popularity. But within the first ten minutes I knew this was one of the times that the masses were absolutely right. It's a bit too violent for us (which is saying something), but overall a great, intense, intelligent movie.

As a caveat, I did have a friend read the book before seeing the movie and, as usual, that greatly diminished the enjoyment of the movie. Hollywood changes things on you. So if you're planning to both watch the movie and read the book - either watch the movie first, or be prepared to be disappointed about the things that changed. (I can understand wanting to get all the twists and turns in the book first, but that means the movie will probably always be in second place for you.)

Fight Club (Widescreen Edition)The Commander's Rating: Four out of five Vulcan salutes.
Pros: Well executed movie with drama, action, and some interesting twists and turns.
Cons: It could be a little more violent than you like. 
Recommendation: If you haven't seen it before make sure you can devote your full attention to it the first time around. If you have seen it before then you know that you'd like to pop it back in the player and see it again. Because, seriously, this one is never getting old.

Thanks to @jeffekennedy for suggesting a review of Fight Club. The movie is available on dvd, 2-disc Collector's Edition dvd, and bluray. You can also get the book on


  1. Fight Club surprised us greatly. I only rented it because everyone quotes it and I was tired of being the only one in the dark. It has a much more sophisticated plot than we were expecting. Good review.

  2. Thanks Pam! I'm glad to know we're not the only ones. :)