Fight Club (1999)

R   |    |  Drama


Fight Club (1999) Poster

An insomniac office worker and a devil-may-care soapmaker form an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.


8.8/10
1,706,073

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  • Kenneth 'Babyface' Edmonds at an event for Fight Club (1999)
  • Fight Club (1999)
  • Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in Fight Club (1999)
  • Tom Arnold at an event for Fight Club (1999)
  • Selma Blair at an event for Fight Club (1999)
  • Brad Pitt in Fight Club (1999)

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25 June 2000 | Dante Hicks
10
| It doesn't get much better than this
Similar in idea to 'American Beauty' but certainly not in style or content this bleak look at underground culture and the spiritual redemption it brings is easily one of the most intelligent films I've ever seen. Directed by the same man who brought us the superb 'The Game' this is another film which you'll have to see more than once to truly understand. Focusing on sad white-collar, middle-class Norton whose only real dream in life is to own all the contents of an IKEA catalogue it follows him through a chance meeting with charismatic stranger Pitt and the unfortunate events which conspire to draw them together. After a nights hard drinking they start a friendly-ish scrap which is viewed by a couple of others and from that small acorn a mighty oak called Fight Club grows. This is the point around which the whole film revolves with Norton and Pitt forming an underground club which draws more and more disillusioned young men to join it. Based on firm 'Queensbury Rules' it is a cathartic if bloody way to spend your night. Eventually as it becomes a huge operation Pitt, the de facto leader, moves it up a gear and creates his own cult from this secret society. This is where the film becomes brilliant and the twist near the end is magnificent, better even than the much talked about 'The Sixth Sense'. It just has so much to say about things: the emasculation of an entire generation of young men ("No great war to fight, no great depression"), the growing isolation we all feel from one another and the need to find something to draw us back together and most importantly, the power of an exciting, challenging idea and it's fermentation into cultism. However, where many films would just say 'This is a bad thing' 'Fight Club' doesn't. It is more a condemnation of a materialistic society which has forgotten about a large section of itself. You can empathise with these men completely, even when they band together against this uncaring society that has reared them to be something their instincts don't understand. It's as close to genius as you'll get and one film you'll talk about and think about for days.

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Three directors were offered the film prior to David Fincher. Peter Jackson was the initial choice of producers Joshua Donen and Ross Grayson Bell, who had been impressed with Jackson's work on Heavenly Creatures (1994) and The Frighteners (1996). Jackson however, although he loved the Chuck Palahniuk novel, was too busy prepping The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001) in New Zealand. The second choice for director was Bryan Singer, who was sent the book, but who never got back to the producers (he later admitted he didn't read the novel when he received it). Next to be offered the job was British director Danny Boyle, who met with Donen and Bell, read the book, and loved the material, but who ultimately decided to concentrate on The Beach (2000) instead. The producers then turned to David Fincher, who was in post-production on The Game (1997). Donen and Bell had been impressed with Fincher's work on Se7en (1995), and thought he could bring something unique to the project. However, Fincher was reluctant to work with 20th Century Fox again after his negative experiences making Alien³ (1992), so a meeting was set up between Donen, Bell, Fincher, President of Production at Fox 2000 Pictures Laura Ziskin and 20th Century Fox studio head Bill Mechanic, where Fincher's relationship with the studio was restored, and he was hired to direct the film.


Quotes

Woman on Plane: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by ...


Goofs

Even though Rule 6 is No shirts, no shoes, Bob (Meat Loaf) fights with a shirt on. But despite one of the eight rules being you are not allowed to wear shirts or shoes during fights was because Meat Loaf's fat suit had to be covered during these scenes.


Crazy Credits

The three police officers that try to cut off the narrator's testicles are credited as Officer Andrew, Officer Kevin and Officer Walker. Andrew Kevin Walker is the screenwriter who wrote Se7en (1995) and 8MM (1999). He also worked uncredited on David Fincher's The Game (1997) and on one of the drafts of Fight Club (1999). However, his contribution to the Fight Club script was not enough to warrant a credit by current WGA rules. Director David Fincher named the officers Andrew, Kevin and Walker, as a way of surreptitiously giving Walker a credit.


Alternate Versions

For the UK theatrical release of the film, the BBFC removed a total of four seconds from two scenes. In the scene where Lou (Peter Iacangelo) beats up Tyler (Brad Pitt), an overhead shot as Tyler receives a punch to the face is missing, and in the scene where The Narrator (Edward Norton) beats up Angel Face (Jared Leto), the third punch in the first load of hits, as well as several hits as his face becomes bloodied during the last load of hits have been removed. The BBFC argued that these cuts were made because of "excessively sustained violence" and "an indulgence in the excitement of beating a defenseless man's face into a pulp". Interestingly however, prior to the release of the film, the BBFC was petitioned to ban the film the film altogether, but they refused, disputing claims that it contained "dangerously instructive information" and could "encourage anti-social behavior". In fact, they actually came to the defense of the film, pointing out that "the film as a whole is - quite clearly - critical and sharply parodic of the amateur fascism which in part it portrays. Its central theme of male machismo (and the anti-social behavior that flows from it) is emphatically rejected by the central character in the concluding reels." For the 2007 Definitive Edition DVD re-release of the movie in the UK, all previous cuts were waved, and the film was released with the deleted four seconds reinstated.


Soundtracks

Cafeteria
Written by
Christian Poulet
Performed by Cezame Argile
Courtesy of Koka Media/Killer Tracks

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