Fight Club - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Fight Club Reviews

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April 27, 2017
Applying a Marxist- Freudian Critical Lens to Fight Club
By: Lina Yagan
In this review, a political analysis of Fight Club will be conducted under the light of Marxist and Freudian philosophy. Marxism is a philosophy based on a reaction against Capitalism that aims for a fair distribution of wealth among different social classes while Freud targets the motivations of the unconscious mind. Within Fight Club, an interplay of themes regarding the issues of architecture of containment by the mind and deliverance of social justice are addressed. It is critical to note that the character of Tyler Durden constitutes a fabric of the narrator's unconscious as it forces the viewer to reconstruct the narrative.
The narrator remains unnamed in Fight Club in order to signify the extent to which he is an insignificant drone, an unmotivated office job worker going through the motions of everyday life to earn money used to purchase temporal possessions. He is depicted as a man with the ideal American lifestyle championed by advertisements. Thus, he is set up as a universal, mundane man, one that the audience can easily connect with, especially in such a market driven society. His character is mainly defined by the contents of his suitcase, his designer clothing, and his IKEA furniture in his apartment. Marx would define his existence as one that is at mercy of corporations and conglomerates. His conformity to consumerism culture inflicts him with emptiness and a lack of meaning in life. He is left in a state primed for a transformation.
At a critical turning point in the film when his apartment burns down and he loses all material possessions, he rejects all principles of Capitalism and turns to its binary opposite, Communism. In a Marxist sense, as Tyler or the narrator destroys his own apartment, he is initiating the first step of saving himself from corporate enslavement and materialism. Freud would comment on how his living arrangements symbolize the state of his mind. When his apartment burns down and becomes the site of explosion, the destruction marked by the setting symbolizes the narrator's mind. The build up of unconscious dissatisfaction literally erupted and drove the narrator to tear down his manufactured consumer-self and reduce it to rubble. This shift is accompanied by the prominence of Tyler Durden's role as a character, who is presented as completely emancipated and free of normal social conventions. He has no stable job and is committed to tearing down old established institutions such as banks. Thus, he serves as an anarchistic antithesis to the narrator. Once the narrator moves in with Tyler, in a dark, run down home, the narrator achieves a newfound identity. The house is in disarray which represents how the narrator attempts to navigate the multiplicities of his identity as it is split between himself and Tyler. As the film progresses, the setting becomes overpopulated and filled with volatile soap, foreshadowing the upcoming psychic breakdown of the narrator as he is unable to unify his identity and his sense of fragmentation worsens.
Tyler advocates a return to a primal version of masculinity through violence.
Violence in Fight Club is a crucial binding component of members as it provides them with a concrete experience of their ability to overcome pain and fear. These acts of violence portrayed in the brutality of the fights and acid burns are glorified for their cathartic release for working class men seeking redemption and justice in a society that consumes them. Fight Club in itself is a destructive movement for the greater purpose of achieving economic equality. Project Mayhem, primarily directed by Tyler, gives these corporate drones a sense of transcendence of strict societal boundaries. This idea of escaping consumerist culture is the main motivation behind joining Fight Club in order to break the monotony of their daily routine.
The Club serves as a portrayal of Communism in how all of the members are stripped of their individual clothes, their IDs, and names. They all become part of a homogenized culture denoted as 'space monkeys'. According to Freud, the film gratifies men's repressed rage underneath their civilized fašade. In joining Fight Club, these men have reached a certain level of discontent with their surroundings that demands a release of pressure from institutionalized control. Ironically, as it would be detailed by Marx, they have created a new herd led by Tyler after breaking from consumer society.
In laying out the rules of Fight Club and illuminating the injustices of corporate society in a speech designed to emotionally move the crowd of space monkeys, the camera zooms in on Tyler's face in several close up shots to suggest that he is speaking for the club and its unconscious ideology.
Once the line between redeeming masculine power, cathartic release of pain and murder of one of the members of the club through barbaric acts of terrorism become blurred, Jack realizes that the social order he has created has effectively become more dangerous than the one he set out to replace. When Jack attempts to stop the planned bombings, he is threatened to be castrated by members of Project Mayhem, and by extension threaten to emasculate him. Jack salvages his manhood by confronting Tyler and ridding himself of the immense unconscious control imposed by his dangerous alter ego.
Fight Club is a movie that details the pursuit to live free of the external pressures of society. However, the ending of the film notes that such a life does not go without consequences. Although Tyler emerges as the figurehead of Communism, as his ideas become more radical, he is more in alignment with anarchy. The film critiques Capitalism, yet observes how the alternative does not provide a viable option either. Jack is able to liberate himself of his unconscious tension through the creation of Tyler, but ends by reclaiming his civilization. However, when an obscene flash at the end of the movie occurs, which serves as a reference to one of Tyler's part time jobs of changing projectors, the audience is left questioning whether the unconscious influence of Tyler truly subsides or if it could be reawakened.
Ultimately, Fight Club's exploration of the sociological to the psychological marks the heavy Freudian and Marxist influence in this film.
April 26, 2017
Underappreciated as hell!
April 25, 2017
Funny, dark, violent, acted; written and directed to perfection, this is one of David Fisher's greatest films, and one of the greatest movies from the 90s, it deserves its cult status.
April 25, 2017
Cerebral and Dark with a sense of humour.
April 21, 2017
Oh my goodness! So much deeper than I imagined it would be. PHENOMENAL movie!!!
April 21, 2017
The twist makes it highly rewatchable. A great cast and a GREAT last line.
April 20, 2017
One of my favorite movies of all time. Love everything about this film
April 19, 2017
There is much to like about Fight Club with its style, direction and there both are clever and profound ideas. However, Fight Club requires a critical eye, because it is more nuanced and problematic than people think.
April 11, 2017
Movie about a guy who is desperate to change his life because of the monotony and then meets another guy, who changes his life when they start a fight club. Somewhat pretentious movie that is still fairly good. I like it sure but its not near the classic masterpiece many people think it is.
April 11, 2017
Grade - C
It feels like the kind of movie you need to re-watch in order to fully appreciate it, but after my initial viewing I'm not sure how I feel about 'Fight Club'. The film is technically accomplished and has some good performances but it just didn't engage me throughout the majority of its run time.
½ April 8, 2017
best movie. ever. read the book too!
April 6, 2017
This is a classic movie that should be seen by everyone.
April 4, 2017
This movie is about a troubled man who meets a stranger and they decide to open up an underground boxing club which eventually grows out of control. The movie is dark and unorthodox. The brutality helps drive the movie and it shows how a simple fighting group can go out of control and take a dramatic turn. It has a surprising twist ending which will knock you out cold. It was very surprising and I liked the choice it made. The movie gives clues throughout the movie that most if not all people would miss the first viewings which leaves room for re-watching it. Every time I give it another viewing, there is always something new to be found. Many people might turn away when they see the brutality but it didn't bother me. What makes this movie so special is that it dared to go where no film has ever attempted to go before and that's what makes it so special. I think that this is one of the best movies of the 90's. Its creativity can inspire hours of discussing and it will be a film which will probably age well.
April 2, 2017
Fascinating. Made heart pumping like crazy.
½ March 28, 2017
Maybe David Fincher's Opus magnum.
A great movie in every way you see it.
½ March 20, 2017
A film that made millions off the exact systems it heaps dirt on is hailed as art...and I am left wondering why. If it was half an hour shorter, a little more thoughtful and not just completely token in terms of the blather that Pitt's character spouts I might have been convinced that this film deserved serious credit. Bored white-guy loses his mind and looks for unusual thrills is not an original nor very compelling premise - this formula fans claim it satirises through some ingenious self-aware direction just didn't play that way to me. I mean, if it was really a satire it would have been funnier, quicker, rung more true as a representation of something that might actually occur. Instead it plays out as far too sincere, too try-hard. With just enough thought to make younger viewers think it was a smart film, just enough violence to cover the really boring middle of the film, and just enough visual artistry to satisfy anyone who wasn't otherwise fascinated, I get why it hits a chord with a fair few viewers.
March 13, 2017
A controversial movie that tends to be polarizing in the eyes of many critics. But remember the reason why this movie is loved is because it tells a cool story and looks cool while telling said story and that can never be denied.
March 5, 2017
Incredible story, fantastic charachter developement, great directing and dialogues. One of the best movies of all time.
March 5, 2017
This movie blew me away, i mean it wasnt what i expected. Which is so good of a feeling nowdays with trailers spoiling more and more of movies... i think its a masterpiece
March 4, 2017
Very good pacing and acting, hard to follow at some points though
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