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"FIGHT CLUB"
(1999) (Edward Norton, Brad Pitt) (R)

Alcohol/
Drugs
Blood/Gore Disrespectful/
Bad Attitude
Frightening/
Tense Scenes
Guns/
Weapons
Moderate Extreme Extreme Heavy Extreme
Imitative
Behavior
Jump
Scenes
Music
(Scary/Tense)
Music
(Inappropriate)
Profanity
Extreme None Heavy None Extreme
Sex/
Nudity
Smoking Tense Family
Scenes
Topics To
Talk About
Violence
Heavy Extreme Minor Heavy Extreme


QUICK TAKE:
Drama: Bored, unable to sleep and needing a release, a disillusioned man joins his new anarchist friend in starting an underground fight club that quickly grows in popularity and scope.
PLOT:
"Jack," the film's narrator (EDWARD NORTON), is a disillusioned recall investigator for a major automobile manufacturer. Bored with his Ikea-dominated life and suffering from insomnia, he takes a doctor's advice and begins attending various support group meetings to encounter people who really have problems. At such a group for testicular cancer survivors, he meets Bob Paulsen (MEAT LOAF), a large man with even larger enlarged breasts, and soon finds himself addicted to such meetings for the cathartic release they elicit.

His solution is ruined, however, when he notices that Marla Singer (HELENA BONHAM CARTER), a chain-smoking "tourist," is similarly attending all of the support groups without appropriate need and thus is distracting his attention. They finally agree to split their time at different meetings and each then goes their separate ways.

During this time, Jack continues his car crash investigations by flying across the country, during which he meets Tyler Durden (BRAD PITT), a soap salesman with an interesting philosophy about life, not to mention part-time jobs where he splices pornographic images into family films as a projectionist or spikes served food with body fluids while working as a waiter.

Jack doesn't think much of Tyler until he returns home to find that his condo has blown up. Believing it to be an accident and without any real friends, he calls up Tyler and two get together for several rounds of beers. In the parking lot, Tyler urges Jack to hit him and after reluctantly doing so, the two get into a cathartic fight that changes Jack's life.

Soon Jack moves in with Tyler in his large, dilapidated home and their now weekly fist fights begin drawing crowds of onlookers and then participants. As such, they form a fight club where the rules are that only two men can spar at a given time and no one can mention the club outside their circle.

As Jack begins to accept Tyler's anarchistic philosophy about life and a lack of interest in his possessions or job, others, such as Angel Face (JARED LETO) do the same as well. With their numbers swelling and their activities decidedly becoming more antisocial, Jack begins to wonder if Tyler's going too far. Coupled with Marla now being Tyler's lover, Jack begins to feel more like an outsider and soon finds himself facing interesting and unexpected complications to his new lifestyle.

WILL KIDS WANT TO SEE IT?
Teen males may be drawn to the machismo element the picture offers, but most other kids probably won't have much interest in this film.
WHY THE MPAA RATED IT: R
For disturbing and graphic depiction of violent antisocial behavior, sexuality and language.
CAST AS ROLE MODELS:
Considering the violence, antisocial behavior, and profanity (among other things) demonstrated by every major and many minor characters, it's doubtful many, if any, parents would view any of the characters here as good role models.
CAST, CREW, & TECHNICAL INFO

HOW OTHERS RATED THIS MOVIE


Curious if this title is entertaining, any good, and/or has any artistic merit?
Then read OUR TAKE of this film.


(Note: The "Our Take" review of this title examines the film's artistic merits and does not take into account any of the possibly objectionable material listed below).


OUR WORD TO PARENTS:
Here's a quick summary of the content found in this R-rated drama/thriller. Profanity is extreme due to at least 75 uses of the "f" word, along with other profanities and colorful phrases. Violence is also extreme and arrives in the form of many brutal and often extremely bloody, bare-knuckled fights where opponents are purposefully punched, kicked and otherwise beaten up and pummeled. People are shot and wounded or killed (with very bloody results), buildings are destroyed by explosives, and other vandalism occurs.

Such scenes may be disturbing and/or suspenseful to viewers. While the film is seemingly intent on being an anti-violence story (and an examination of what leads people to behave that way), some viewers (including impressionable teens) may see it as glorifying/promoting such violence, other antisocial behavior and the overall anarchistic philosophy of one the major characters and his followers. As such, plenty of bad attitudes are present as is other imitative behavior.

Some brief sexual encounters are seen, but many more are heard in aurally graphic detail. Some nudity is also present, with some of it occurring as subliminal flashes (of a penis, a woman's breasts) and a realistic looking dildo is seen. Sexually related dialogue is also heard.

Meanwhile, most the major characters smoke throughout the film, while some drinking is also present. Since some male teens will undoubtedly be drawn to this picture, we strongly suggest that you take a closer look at the listed content should you still be concerned about its appropriateness for anyone in your home.


ALCOHOL OR DRUG USE
  • In a TV commercial/promo people drink champagne.
  • Tyler explains that oxygen masks are on planes to get everyone "high" and thus placid in case of an emergency.
  • We see Tyler and Jack drinking beer and Tyler (in a bar where others also drink) later mentions that they had three pitchers. After they fight for the first time, they drink beer (in public).
  • Some men in a bar parking lot drink.
  • Tyler drinks a beer while in a bathtub, while Jack has one later while watching a parking lot fight.
  • People drink in a bar, while Jack has a drink down below in the fight club as does Tyler a bit later on.
  • Tyler has Jack hand out cans of beer to the recruits.
  • People have drinks at a reception.
  • We see Jack walk out with an entire bottle of liquor. Later, we see that the bottle is somewhat empty and see him drink more directly from it (and he seems somewhat intoxicated).
  • People have drinks in a bar.
  • BLOOD/GORE
  • We see Jack sitting on his toilet (but don't see or hear anything else).
  • We see and hear Tyler urinating into some food where he works as a waiter (but don't see the actual stream).
  • Tyler and Jack have cuts, bruises or black eyes for days after their fights.
  • Many participants in the fight club matches are bloody afterwards (to varying degrees -- some have a bit of blood from their mouths or noses, while others are extremely bloody and have blood streaming from them).
  • After Jack has his head repeatedly slammed against a hard floor, both his head and the floor are bloody. Later, we see him pull out a bloody tooth from his mouth (loosened during the fight).
  • Tyler and Jack break into a fenced-in area to steal the fatty waste products from a liposuction practice. As such, we see Tyler throw Jack a large transparent bag full of bloody fat. Later, that catches on a fence and rips open, spilling the bloody and fatty contents. Later, as they prepare to use that fat to make soap, we see them running it through strainers and boiling it.
  • We see lye burning a hole in Jack's hand (with it bubbling and boiling) and later see the scar from this.
  • Tyler's face is very bloody after he purposefully lets the bar owner pummel him (and he then lets some of his blood drop onto his assailant during this we also see someone vomit).
  • Jack's hand, face and shirt are very bloody after purposefully beating himself up.
  • We see many cars completely covered in pigeon droppings.
  • A man whom Jack pummels has an extremely bloody face and Jack has blood splatter on him.
  • People who've been in a bad car wreck are a bit bloody.
  • We see a dead man who's been shot in the head and see a very bloody and oozing wound there.
  • Blood runs from Jack's mouth and nose after he's been beaten again.
  • A man puts a gun in his mouth and pulls the trigger, wounding, but not killing himself. We then see a bullet hole wound in his neck and lots of blood coming out.
  • DISRESPECTFUL/BAD ATTITUDE
  • Jack, Tyler and their followers obviously have extreme cases of both as they not only start a fight club, but then plan and participate in antisocial activities (including beating people, vandalism and massive destruction).
  • Since the film deals with Jack and Marla attending (crashing) all sorts of support groups (testicular cancer, etc...) and uses such material in an offhand way, those who are or have been dealing with such issues might find such parts of the film offensive to them. For example, Jack explains that a cancer victim looks like Meryl Streep's skeleton walking around and smiling at everyone. In addition, Jack says that if he had a tumor, he'd name it Marla (since he doesn't like her).
  • Some "recipes" for destructive/explosive materials are mentioned by Tyler (some viewers may find the film offensive for doing that -- whether they're accurate or not).
  • Tyler inserts pornographic stills into family films at the theater where he works as a projectionist and urinates into some food where he works as a waiter.
  • Jack mentions that his father left when he was six (and started other families in other cities in the same repetitious manner).
  • As Jack gets more into the fight club philosophy, his work behavior and attitude progressively get worse.
  • Tyler and Jack break into a fenced-in area to steal the fatty waste products from a liposuction practice for their soap making (this may offend some viewers who may associate it with Nazi camps doing the same with WWII concentration camp body parts).
  • Tyler gives his underlings a "homework assignment" and that's to go and pick a fight with someone. As such, we see several of them trying to do just that (including one who repeatedly sprays people -- such as a priest and his bible -- until they try to stop him).
  • To intimidate and eventually blackmail his boss, Jack starts punching and flailing himself across his boss' office (to make it look like his boss beat him up).
  • FRIGHTENING SCENES
  • Scenes listed under "Violence" and "Blood/Gore" may be unsettling and/or disturbing to viewers.
  • The film opens with Jack having a gun inside his mouth and the man holding it threatening to shoot.
  • Jack has a fantasy of a midair collision where we see an airplane's cabin destroyed and people and seats being sucked out of what's left.
  • The numerous fight scenes where the men pummel each other, often with bloody results, may be unsettling/disturbing to viewers.
  • Tyler kisses/licks Jack's hand (to make it wet) and then pours lye on it, creating a chemical burn. Jack tries to get free as the solution burns and bubbles on his skin, but Tyler won't let him go until he proves his point (and that's Tyler saying that God might not like Jack, that in all probability actually hates him, and then states that they don't need Him).
  • Armed with a handgun, Tyler goes into a convenience store, comes back out with the clerk and then holds his gun to his head, threatening to shoot him if he doesn't change his life for the better (in a several minute scene -- that ends with us seeing that the gun was empty).
  • We see Tyler and his minions going after a city official who's headed to the men's room. Once there, Tyler grabs this man, throws him to the floor and punches him. He then drags him across the floor, they tape him up and then threaten to cut of his testicles (with a brandished knife).
  • Tyler purposefully drives down the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic to prove his lack of fear and scare the others with him. He then drives faster and without holding onto the steering wheel, causing the car to crash into another car that's pulled over to the side. As a result, both roll over an embankment, injuring everyone inside.
  • A man tries to defuse a bomb while another man taunts him that he might be working on the wrong wire.
  • A man puts a gun under his chin, threatening to kill himself and then puts it in his mouth and pulls the trigger (resulting in a wound, but not death).
  • GUNS/WEAPONS
  • Handguns/Knife: Used to threaten, wound, or kill others. See "Violence" for details.
  • Nunchukas: Tyler practices with a set.
  • Explosives: Used to blow up Jack's condo and other buildings.
  • IMITATIVE BEHAVIOR
  • Phrases: "Un-f*cking believable," "Stupid f*ck," "Shut the f*ck up," "Who the f*ck do you think you are?" "Get the f*ck out of here," "You crazy little sh*t," "Sh*t hole," "Holy sh*t," "Humping" (sexual), "Bitch tits," "Chick," "Bitch," "Balls" (testicles), "Fart," "Self improvement is masturbation," "Shut up," "Nut case," "Pissed off," "Take a piss," "Screwing around," "Morons" and "Jackass."
  • Some disillusioned teens may get ideas to follow the film's superficial, anarchistic "philosophy" of having to lose everything before becoming free, starting a fight club, participating in antisocial behavior, etc...
  • Some may also "crash" support groups for the free food or the cathartic experience of it like Marla and Jack do.
  • Marla walks across a busy street without stopping or looking.
  • Tyler inserts pornographic stills into family films at the theater where he works as a projectionist and urinates into some food where he works as a waiter.
  • Tyler throws his beer bottle down the street where it shatters (and Jack tosses his aside as well -- littering).
  • We see Tyler and Jack hitting golf balls across the street into another building (where we hear breaking glass).
  • We see that Marla has attempted to commit suicide via an overdose.
  • Tyler and Jack use a heavy blanket to throw over some barbed wire to get into a fenced-in area.
  • Tyler kisses/licks Jack's hand (to make it wet) and then pours lye on it, creating a chemical burn. Jack tries to get free as the solution burns and bubbles on his skin, but Tyler won't let him go until he proves his point. This leaves a scar and we later see that it's akin to an initiation scar as others have the same scar on their hands.
  • Tyler gives his underlings a "homework assignment" and that's to go and pick a fight with someone. As such, we see several of them trying to do just that (including one who repeatedly sprays people -- such as a priest -- until they try to stop him).
  • To intimidate and eventually blackmail his boss, Jack starts punching and flailing himself across his boss' office (to make it look like his boss beat him up).
  • We see Tyler's minions (and occasionally Tyler and Jack) vandalizing things (breaking antennas off roofs, erasing videotapes at a store with large magnets, putting up tire puncture strips to blow out tires, hitting cars with bats, feeding large numbers of pigeons to encourage droppings, etc...).
  • A new recruit shaves his own head.
  • On the TV news we see that Tyler's minions have set fire to the side of a tall building in the outline shape of a happy face.
  • Tyler purposefully drives down the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic to prove his lack of fear and scare the others with him. He then drives faster and without holding onto the steering wheel, causing the car to crash into another car that's pulled over to the side. As a result, both roll over an embankment, injuring everyone inside.
  • A man puts a gun under his chin, threatening to kill himself and then puts it in his mouth and pulls the trigger (resulting in a wound, but not death).
  • JUMP SCENES
  • None.
  • MUSIC (SCARY/TENSE)
  • A heavy amount of suspenseful and ominous music plays during the film.
  • MUSIC (INAPPROPRIATE)
  • None.
  • PROFANITY
  • At least 75 "f' words (9 used sexually as is the word "humping," 3 used with "mother"), 19 "s" words, 1 slang term for male genitals ("c*ck"), 6 slang terms for breasts ("t*ts" -- but referring to a man), 5 asses (2 used with "hole"), 2 craps, 8 uses of "G-damn," 5 of "Oh my God," 3 of "Oh God" and "Jesus," 2 of "My God" and 1 use each of "For Christ's sakes," "God" and "Oh Christ" as exclamations.
  • SEX/NUDITY
  • Jack briefly mentions that he formerly read pornography.
  • A cancer victim says that no one wants to have sex with her so close to the end (death). She then adds, "All I want to do is get laid one last time" and says that she has porno movies in her apartment (but is then escorted away from the microphone).
  • An airport security officer tells Jack that more often than not a suspicious vibrating item in a suitcase is a razor, but then adds that sometimes it's a "dildo." He then looks at Jack who states that he doesn't own one.
  • We see a brief still image of a penis as well as of a topless woman as Tyler inserts pornographic shots into family films (he works as a projectionist). During the showing of such a film, the audience sees (as do we) a brief flash of that penis.
  • We twice see a man's bare butt in a black and white advertisement (as well as another man in small and tightfitting underwear).
  • We see an imagined, distorted and fragmented fantasy of Jack and Marla having sex, momentarily showing both on top of the other as well as glimpses of her bare breasts.
  • After Jack comments that it was strange to find Tyler's door closed, he then notices several used condoms in the toilet. He then sees that Marla spent the night with Tyler.
  • Tyler sees a large dildo on Marla's dresser and briefly shakes it. Marla then tells him, "Don't worry, it's not a threat to you."
  • Talking about Marla to Jack, Tyler says, "You know what it's like. You f*cked her." Jack, however, says that he never has. Later we hear Marla say, " My God, I haven't been f*cked like that since grade school" and Tyler refers to it as a "sport f*ck."
  • We hear loud and exaggerated sexual sounds coming from Tyler and Marla with her screaming, "Oh my God! Yes! Harder, harder!" and see plaster falling from the ceiling down onto Jack in the room below them. Several more scenes then occur where we hear such exaggerated sexual sounds. Jack finally gets curious about the extent of their activity and tries to peek through their cracked open door. We don't see any activity except for her falling off the bed and Tyler asking Jack, "Do you want to finish her off?" We do see that Tyler is nude, but the lower half of his body if out of the camera shot (we see part of the way down his groin area). After that we hear more sexual sounds again in several more scenes.
  • Jack mentions that except when they were "humping," Marla and Tyler were never in the same room.
  • Marla comes up behind Jack, puts her arms around him and feels his clothed crotch.
  • Marla, wanting to check for a lump in her breast (but obviously with ulterior motives) has Jack feel her bare breast. We don't see anything until the end of the scene where we see just the top of her bare breast and nipple in a mirror.
  • Jack calls up Marla and asks her if they've ever "done it." She asks "done what" and he replies "had sex." She then asks if they were just having sex or making love and then says, "Did you f*ck me?"
  • A character states, "I f*ck like I want to f*ck."
  • We see a brief shot of Jack on top of Marla having sex (a separate view of him and of her, but no contact between them or nudity).
  • Marla tells Jack, "You're spectacular in bed."
  • A subliminal shot of a penis briefly occurs on the screen.
  • SMOKING
  • Tyler smokes more than 20 times, Marla more than 10, while Jack smokes several times as do several miscellaneous characters.
  • TENSE FAMILY SCENES
  • Jack mentions that his father left when he was six (and started other families in other cities in the same repetitious manner) and compares Tyler and Marla's non-talking spells to his parents.
  • TOPICS TO TALK ABOUT
  • Tyler's antisocial, anarchist philosophy of "letting the chips fall where they may" and "that it's not until they've lost everything that they're totally free," as well as creating havoc (basically drawing in members with that philosophy like a cult).
  • Violence overall, what causes it and whether people would join such a fight club.
  • Whether this film is promoting violence, examining it, or both.
  • We see that Marla has attempted to commit suicide via an overdose.
  • VIOLENCE
  • The film opens with Jack having a gun inside his mouth and the man holding it threatening to shoot.
  • Jack has a fantasy of a midair collision where we see an airplane's cabin destroyed and people and seats being sucked out of what's left.
  • We see that Jack's condo has blown up (and see his damaged belongings on the street below) and later learn that it was purposefully done (and we see a partial visualization of the beginning of the explosion).
  • Outside a bar, Tyler tells Jack that he wants Jack to hit him as hard as he can. After some reluctance, Jack slugs him in the ear. In response, Tyler punches him in the gut and the two then get into a fight with both throwing punches.
  • Tyler throws his beer bottle down the street where it shatters.
  • We see Tyler and Jack fighting in the parking lot again (kneeing, punching, etc...) in several scenes.
  • We see Tyler and Jack hitting golf balls across the street into another building (where we hear breaking glass).
  • Another organized fight takes place in a bar's parking lot.
  • We see another fight in the bar's basement that includes severe blows to the participants' bodies.
  • Another fight occurs with more severe blows and throwing bodies to the ground as Jack fights another man. That man takes Jack's head and then repeatedly slams it against the hard floor (resulting in a lot of blood).
  • We see that Marla has attempted to commit suicide via an overdose.
  • Tyler kisses/licks Jack's hand (to make it wet) and then pours lye on it, creating a chemical burn. Jack tries to get free as the solution burns and bubbles on his skin, but Tyler won't let him go and even slaps him several times while trying to prove his point.
  • Jack and Bob fight in the fight club with Jack delivering several punches until Bob gets Jack in a sleeper hold and nearly renders him unconscious.
  • The bar owner and his thug (who's carrying a handgun) come into the fight club to kick them out. The owner then proceeds to beat up Tyler (who enjoys it) by repeatedly and severely punching and kicking him.
  • Tyler gives his underlings a "homework assignment" and that's to go and pick a fight with someone. As such, we see one pushing people at a car dealership, with another spraying people with water until a priest eventually attacks him.
  • To intimidate his boss, Jack starts punching and flailing himself across his boss' office (and breaking a glass coffee table and some shelving units with his body in the process).
  • We see some more people fighting in the fight club.
  • We see Tyler's minions (and occasionally Tyler and Jack) vandalizing things (breaking antennas off roofs, erasing videotapes at a store with large magnets, putting up tire puncture strips to blow out tires, hitting cars with bats, etc...).
  • Armed with a handgun, Tyler goes into a convenience store, comes back out with the clerk and then holds a gun to his head, threatening to shoot him if he doesn't change his life for the better (in a several minute scene -- that ends with us seeing that the gun was empty).
  • We see some computers explode in a fiery explosion in a storefront window.
  • Jack hits a recruit with a broom and then threatens to get a shovel and Tyler later slaps this guy on the back of his head after he's shaved it himself.
  • On the TV news we see that Tyler's minions have set fire to the side of a tall building in the outline shape of a happy face.
  • We see Tyler and his minions going after a city official who's headed to the men's room. Once there, Tyler grabs this man, throws him to the floor and punches him. He then drags him across the floor, they tape him up and then threaten to cut of his testicles (with a brandished knife).
  • Jack fights a new member of the fight club and then really starts to pummel him on the floor with severe blows and lots of blood.
  • Tyler purposefully drives down the wrong side of the road and into oncoming traffic to prove his lack of fear and scare the others with him. He then drives faster and without holding onto the steering wheel, causing the car to crash into another car that's pulled over to the side. As a result, both roll over an embankment, injuring everyone inside.
  • An explosion sets free a large corporate logo ball that then crashes into a coffee shop. As the perpetrators run away, we see a cop shooting at them (and he hits one in the head -- the impact isn't seen, although we do see the gory aftermath).
  • We see clips from various other fight club fights.
  • Some men grab Jack and threaten to cut off his testicles (after pulling down his pants) until he grabs one of their guns and escapes.
  • A man fires his gun at another man, shattering a large glass window/door.
  • Two men get into a fight with one shooting at the other several times (resulting in a hole in a van's window). More punches follow and one throws the other around, into walls, against a truck's side-view mirror and then down a stairwell.
  • A man puts a gun under his chin, threatening to kill himself and then puts it in his mouth and pulls the trigger (resulting in a wound, but not death).
  • Massive explosions blow up large buildings and/or send them collapsing to the ground just like when they're destroyed via a controlled demolition.



  • Reviewed October 7, 1999 / Posted October 15, 1999

    Other new and recent reviews include:

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