If you want to convince people that you're a genius, just take a moldering old idea, slap it into a new package, and don't tell anyone that you stole it from somebody else.
That's what David Fincher has done with "Fight Club," a neophyte critique of Western Civilization that owes everything to the century's most disavowed psychologist, Sigmund Freud. Now, before anybody gets huffy about how this movie has nothing to do with sleeping with one's mother inside one's own anus, they should know that there's more to Freud than sex talk. Namely, a critique of modern society which basically stated that man's desires were repressed by a culture that forced him to define his self-worth through arbitrary means. His job, for instance.
What does all of this mean to you, the average moviegoer who's dutifully paid eight or nine bucks in hopes of seeing Brad Pitt get the living crap kicked out of him? Not a thing. Try to keep that in mind when Fincher starts laying his heavy-handed psychology on you. When Tyler Durden (Pitt) tells Jack (Edward Norton) that he's not the sum of his job or his apartment or his possessions, and that he can rebel against society by exercising violent emotions and carnal desires, he might as well have a big ol' blinking neon sign attached to his forehead, reading "Freud....Freud....Freud"
Tyler and Jack form "Fight Club" to exercise some of those desires, and specifically, to show society how different they are. Unfortunately, they attract a whole bunch of followers and eventually Fight Club becomes another insipid mindless horde, not unlike Oprah's Book Club or Kathie Lee's Child Slave Laborer Support Group. I don't know what kind of existential crisis Fincher has had recently, but his brand of nihilism reeks of the blatant commercialism his film supposedly subverts. Apparently, there are no answers and we're all doomed. My take on the subject? If there are no answers, why did he waste our time with the stupid questions in the first place?
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