Fight Club is a story that resonates to the working stiff trapped in corporate America. Edward Norton is a nameless dweeb working for a big car manufacturer settling car malfunction claims, plugging in the numbers to decide whether it warrants recall or individual settlements. On his travels he meets the mysterious Tyler Durton played by Brad Pitt. The chance meeting turns into a dysfunctional, parasitic relationship when Norton is stranded after his flat is burned down by a gas explosion. After drinks Tyler tells Norton to “hit me” before he gives him a place to stay. They fight each other in the bar’s parking lot more or less as a sport which blossoms into an underground fight club, meeting every week in sweaty bar basements.
Ed’s life slowly becomes worth more living even as Tyler and his whimsical leadership continues to tear Ed apart inside with his sexual escapades and taking the fight club in a wildly different direction to subvert society and corporate America.
I was surprised that this film was more of a sleeper that really took off on DVD. I tend to equate the film with Brad Pitt’s breakthrough into stardom. The beauty of this film is all the contradictions it melds into a compelling brew. It’s a dark comedy balanced by Brad Pitt’s flamboyant charisma and Edward Norton’s nerdy appeal. Tyler is the man he wants to be but can’t. Staying with Tyler is the only way he can come close to being what he can’t be. Yet it tears him apart inside because even though Tyler pushes him beyond his own limits he can never be Tyler.
Tyler’s schemes get more grandiose and dangerous as the fight club coalesces into a revolutionary society with cells all across America. In an effort to stop Tyler, Ed discovers the most disturbing truth.
I really liked this movie. It’s worth it for simply seeing Brad Pitt in his physical and charismatic prime at the right moment before real stardom.