Critiquing Film, Television, and More

David Fincher’s Fight Club (1999): The Definitive Movie That Got Me Into the Art of Film

4th Viewing

It’s been about three years since I last saw Fight Club—a movie that’s been my all-time favorite for quite awhile now—so I decided to grant it a little revisit. I’ll indefinitely be rewatching some more of my all-time favorite movies so that I can reevaluate the order I have them placed in right now. So here are my fresh, new-take thoughts on David Fincher’s 1999 cult classic, Fight Club!

If there’s one controversial yet, important life lesson that Fight Club teaches it’s devoted or indifferent audience, it’s that nothing in life matters so live life like a nihilist. This is an unorthodox movie that deals with schizophrenia, self-harm, and just the general moralizations of consumerism. Fight Club, I would indubitably claim, has the most significant and philosophically poignant motifs in a movie ever. I dare you to fight me on that.

There are a meager number of flicks that I would consider to possess perfect directing, and Fight Club lies within that small proportion. All the pans, the silky close-ups, the sharp framing, the variety of contrasting shots; it’s all fine examples of David Fincher at the top of his game. Also, this is one of those pre-2000s movies that legitimately utilizes CGI to add to the film’s quality. There’s so much detail parading on the screen that it’s burdensome to not be able to at least admire the dedication put into this movie to make it seem like an essential, visual tutorial guidebook to the world we live in. Did I mention yet that the narration in this is the best thing ever?

I’m going to say it: Brad Pitt’s performance in Fight Club is legendary. He honestly deserved an Oscar nomination, if not, an Oscar win for his glamorous, psychotic supporting role as Tyler Durden. He’s also literally the avant-garde of solid movie quotes. His character is so eccentric because his presence doesn’t feel human at all; it feels like this darkly destructive entity mimicking a mocking metaphor for some sort of dark plague. It’s honestly one of the best anti-hero roles ever birthed on camera.

So admittedly, the twist in Fight Club isn’t entirely original, but the way it’s executed is done in such a newfangled and forgiving style that it’s very effortless to let it slide. It’s probably my least favorite element about this movie but it certainly doesn’t take away from the film at all. The rest of this movie is just so unlike anything—and I mean anything tonally and just structure-wise; it’s intensely kooky—so it makes up for this.

Fight Club is additionally one of the fastest paced movies ever assembled. You never feel the time because the production is just that engrossing. It’s the most rebel-motivated, culty, angsty, emo, sweaty, edgy, disrespectful, “I hate the world, people suck, life is pointless, and F all of y’all” movie ever manufactured and that’s why it rocks hard. Every time I watch this movie it feels like I’ve just ransacked someone’s house or tripped over some poor, old nagging lady on the street. You feel nasty and dirty afterwards and I just love that special climate aspect of this movie’s long-lasting memory. You didn’t hear anything I just said by the way…

I think we all have a character like Tyler Durden inside of us that constantly bombards us with the wise yet, narcissistic words of the truth about our soul existence and our desires to be something we’re not but can never become. Like the infamous car crash sequence—which is one of my all-time favorite moments in cinematic history—we sometimes need that little inch of self-conscious to really motivate us to start living a life void of meaninglessness.

I would be ignorant to not mention that I whole-heartedly believe that Fight Club is the most original movie ever made. Minus the twist and some inspirations from Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, in terms of its many themes, every corresponding film element in this fable I have never seen accomplished in such an idiosyncratic routine compared to any film on the market. It’s hard to explain, but the piece doesn’t appear like it’s being processed like a film, it appears like it’s being processed by some alien-like, foreign machinery despite it literally being a diss on the common “American” society.

Even though Fight Club is technically no longer my all-time favorite movie—which I must give it props for holding that #1 spot for a little over five years (!!!)— this movie still earns the #1 placeholder in my heart rather than my mind. Aww…right? 

Fight Club is the definitive movie that frankly, got me into the art of film. This was the film that showed me that movies could be more than just excerpts of fictional entertainment, but more so, political or moral statements. It’s encouraged me to become a filmmaker as my career of choice. Without it, I would be nothing. Thank you, David Fincher. Thank you, Chuck Palahniuk.

Verdict: A+

This Movie Has Moved From #2 To #7 on My List: My Top 44 Favorite Movies of All-Time

Update: This Movie is Now at #6 on My Top 44 Favorite Movies of All-Time

The Pixies’ “Where is My Mind” song is like, the most nostalgic piece of anything in my entire life—besides Bionicles, LOL. I got awe-struck when I heard it after all these years at the end of this movie. Damn, I think I’m getting a little emotional. Don’t cry, Evan. Don’t cry.

“Fight Club” is now available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, and Google Play.

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