Fight Club

Fight Club ★★★★

One of the most over-discussed films of all time, precisely because it is excellently made and packed past the brim with ideas that make it fun to try and unpack and talk through at length. It plays like a 2-hour variant of the John Doe car ride that closes Se7en—in which a world weary Detective Somerset listens to what is essentially a manifestation of his worst instincts, deranged perversions of his own morality such that he... mostly agrees with the lunatic in the back seat. That's Fight Club in a nutshell, with Tyler as Doe and the audience as Somserset, at least for a good portion of the time. While you ponder the boys' juvenile, half-psychotic/half-spittin' philosophy, there's also a lot of smarter things to gnaw on. The film is also about the idea of cultural uptake, the way ideas are transferred among people, Zodiac-style zeitgeist, social egregores. Particularly with a queer reading, the movie is as much about deconstructing social systems and inspecting the subcultures we create to escape the dominant one. It's a dense conceptual tangle, yet Fincher's direction keeps the film breezy and hilarious. It's a fun ball of wax (uh soap?) to pick through, and an incredibly entertaining experience. It's probably a movie you could write about from 20 different readings and still have plenty more perspectives to spare. For all its technical acumen, the messiness keeps it from its director's uppermost tier, but it's still a fantastic, satirical psychological thriller and completely worth most of the hype.

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