Fight Club turns 25 and we’re breaking the #1 Rule

As the epic story of Tyler Durden and Project Mayhem turns a quarter of a century old, we should revisit the original snippet I remember reading describing “Fight Club” months before it was released.

“Brad Pitt and Edward Norton Jr. fight over Helena Bonham Carter”

Boy, did that really throw my expectations off. That sounds like a Legends of the Fall sequel. A noble and chivalrous tale if I ever heard of one.

And while Fight Club certainly wasn’t noble, and chivalrous is doing some heavy lifting here, it was definitely unforgettable.

The movie of course works because of it’s three leads. Norton’s narration might be right behind Liota in “Goodfellas”. Pitt was lethal and dangerously convincing. And HBC spouts off a line I still can’t listen to without wincing. You know which one I’m talking about.

Throw in Jared Leto and the late great Meatloaf as Robert Paulson and we can’t forget Fight Club.

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David Fincher is one of my favorites and he gets everything right here. From the Paper Street Soap company’s dilapidated digs, to that gorgeous shot of HBC exhaling cigarette smoke.

There has been some social commentary about the messaging of Fight Club. I reject that dialog. Want to know why?

Because we have fight clubs. Fight clubs are boxing and mixed martial arts organizations. They’re there to empower. Plus, Tyler Durden is a psychopath. That’s made abundantly clear several times during the film.

And anyone who tells you that they saw the twist coming deserves some scrutiny. While it’s not on a “Usual Suspects” or “Sixth Sense Level”, it’s pretty tough to read.

Happy Anniversary to Fight Club. I’m happy we broke the #1 (and #2) rule.

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