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Fight Club Movie Review

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Essay title: Fight Club Movie Review

Fight Club

Starring: Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, Helena Bonham-Carter, Meatloaf

Director: David Fincher

Writer: Jim Uhls

Based on Novel By: Chuck Palahniuk

Studio: Fox Studio

Rating: R 18+

Genre: Action, Thriller

Running Time: 139 minutes approx.

Filming Locations: Los Angeles and California

Special Effects:

Many of the visual effects in Fight Club have been overshadowed by effect-based movies (LOTR, The Matrix) but upon closer examination I found that they were perfect in their own right. They depicted a chaotic sense of disengagement, not only from society but also from oneself. Two of the most technically advanced shot were CGIs (computer generated enhancements) of Jack’s IKEA apartment. One was a tracking shot, entering through the door and circling his apartment before zooming to a macro shot of the back of his fridge, that apparently contained a gas leak that in turn led to the demise of his apartment. The other apartment-based shot was almost comical, a shot circling through his apartment labelling his designer furniture and appliances, not unlike a magazine catalogue. Although not a breakthrough in the world of visual effects, when combined with the atmosphere of Jacks cynical, mundane voiceovers and brilliant cinematography it makes for an enchanting shot that gives a very true to life insight of the average material-bound American male.


Jack realises that Tyler was a creation of his own mind, in a feeble attempt to finally free himself from the restraints society places on him, a 360° pan circles him, getting more erratic and destabilised as it finally sinks in. Diversity is the key to Fight Clubs style of cinematography, in every aspect from the shot itself, to its point of view. From observing a security television monitor displaying Jack, coming to terms with his inner demon to Jack in a state of euphoria, were he is introduced to his power animal, a CG penguin that tells Jack simply to “slide”. In another standout sequence Tyler gives Jack a severe chemical burn, and in hope of dismissing his raging pain Jack begins to mediate, where he refers back to his power animal before being slapped in the face and told “Stay with the pain, I’m giving you the f*ing experience of your life and your drifting in Tibet”. He attempts to meditate again, and the viewer is subjected to a breathtaking contrast of near subliminal flashes that depict the characters personality, Jack with his initially light, harmless nature and Tyler, the extremist who adapts an all or nothing view of life.


One cannot completely understand the capability of an actor unless there is a role to stretch their dramatic capabilities. This is evident in Fight Club, with Pitt and Norton delivering the performances of their lives. A gift to the acting world Edward Norton has landed a string of movies coming off Fight Club including The Score and The Red Dragon. Brad has also outdone himself, despite the fact that he is playing a similar style role to many previous films, (13 Monkeys, Meet Jo Black), in that he is yet again a psychotic, misunderstood individual with an extremist point of view, a part that he plays so well.

Sound Track:

An amazing audio experience, Fight Club delivers as many punches with its music as it does with its fight scenes. The musical scores always compliment the moment perfectly, elaborating even more on the feeling the scene instils. In terms of modern music, Fight Club was slightly lacking although one track does stand out, namely The Pixies who deliver Where Is My Mind in the closing scene, which to me, summed up the film perfectly; “With your feet in the air, and your head on the ground”.

Plot summary (brief):

Told in flashback (after an incredible opening credit sequence where we follow a bead of sweat from inside Norton's brain down his forehead), we discover that Norton's character is an incredibly unhappy insomniac corporate drone. He refers to himself as a "30-year-old boy" and plunges into consumerism to feel, as he puts it, "complete," buying and buying from various yuppie catalogues. Complaining to his doctor about his insomnia, he's told to check out some 12-step cancer-patient meetings,

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