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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> June 2001 >> Fight Club

Fight Club

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
June 2001
IMDB Name:
Fight Club (1999)
David Fincher
action, drama, suspense
MPAA Rating:
R for disturbing and graphic depiction of violent anti-social behavior, sexuality and language.

Extra Sense

Sixth Sense had been in theaters for two months when Fight Club first appeared at the box office. Sixth Sense left its surprise in plain sight for the duration, inviting subsequent viewings to watch with newly trained eyes. Fight Club takes a different approach, using only a tiny bit of dialogue to foreshadow the big surprise while lying to the audience outright. The catch, then, is that repeat viewings seem likely only to make the movie less believable instead of more.

Fortunately, that first viewing is a worthwhile excursion into the dark underside of modern civilization executed with noteworthy technique. This is director David Fincher's first film since 1997's The Game. Fight Club has a lot more to offer across the board, but there are similarities in the methods used as each film reaches its climax. Fincher again finds a plot that skewers materialism and corporations, but this time with a delicious edge of satire.

From an execution standpoint, Fight Club is spectacular. Special effect visuals, even the really obvious ones, integrate nicely into the plot. Several sequences were nothing short of stunning in the audacity of creating the corresponding sights. Even a simple shot of a trash can is made a major production by having the camera extract itself from the bowels of the garbage to stare at Norton. The cinematography is appropriately dark, cold, and alienating. Even the reds and wood tones of the Paper Street house are made to look uninviting.

All of the cast parts are as well acted as could be in such an action-heavy film. Edward Norton is the standout, demonstrating both acting chops and stunt prowess, all wrapped in a very everyman package. He even gets to do a few moments worthy of the best parts of Office Space. His skill with the detached sarcasm is formidable. Brad Pitt echoes his terrific role in Twelve Monkeys, blending craziness with the right amount of intelligence.

Nitpicking Spoiler!

The buildings have vans loaded with explosives in their underground garages. While this would certainly go a long way towards toppling the buildings, they'd either remain upright but sink a few floors or pivot at the base like a tree. Either way, one big explosive wouldn't cause the flashy explosions characteristic of traditional controlled demolition on the upper floors.

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Copyright 2001 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.