review for Fight Club on AllMovie

Fight Club (1999)
by Jason Clark review

A definitive case of a movie that has yet to find its time, David Fincher's unnerving and cataclysmic look at the male psyche takes no prisoners and makes no apologies, which is precisely why the film is so powerful. A kind of stepchild to Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange in terms of its thematic relevancy and misunderstood nature, Fight Club looks and feels like almost nothing that has preceded it. Brad Pitt, Edward Norton, and Helena Bonham Carter all successfully subvert their onscreen personas, and give fully committed portrayals that never get buried in the film's dazzling set pieces. More than any film of the 1990s, it was hotly debated in terms of its cinematic worth. Some critics deemed it fascist and overheated, condemning the film for its refusal to a create an easily delineated platform on the issues it raises. Others praised the film for this very reason, citing its ability to challenge the minds of moviegoers. The film was a surprising misfire in its initial release, but a legion of die-hard fans subsequently developed. It wouldn't be at all surprising if it goes on to achieve the delayed status of a work such as Blade Runner, another film panned by critics and audiences when it was released that is now viewed as a significantly influential movie and a banner example of film theory on screen.