Fight Club is an intense, uncompromising, and masterful movie that is wide open to interpretation and disturbingly effective at getting under the viewer’s skin. It thrives on its fascinating and thought-provoking story with elements of satire, its great dialogue, and its top-notch acting (Edward Norton and Brad Pitt are excellent in the roles of the Narrator and Tyler Durden, respectively; Helena Bonham Carter gives an intriguing performance as Marla Singer). I would be remiss not to mention David Fincher’s assured direction, the accomplished cinematography that gives the proceedings a distinctive visual style, the noteworthy title sequence, and the memorable and strangely beautiful final scene.
The graphic, brutal fight scenes are a means to an end rather than simply depicting violence for its own sake. People who criticize Fight Club for endorsing or glorifying violence tend to miss, ignore, or misconstrue the symbolic meaning of those scenes.
The fourth wall is broken several times and single-frame, almost subliminal images appear here and there. These and other flourishes, which could otherwise have come across as gimmicky, are well integrated into the narrative.
Even though it is subtly hinted at earlier in the movie, the twist in the last act is positively surprising. It infuses the picture with new energy and increases its coolness factor. Thankfully, the film’s power and poignancy do not depend on its twist.
Based on the novel Fight Club by Chuck Palahniuk. Interestingly, Palahniuk reportedly prefers this film to his novel.