Fight Club
(Click here for Internet Movie Database entry)

The first rule about Fight Club is that I can't talk about this movie.  The second rule about Fight Club is that I can't talk about this movie.  Here is another movie, like Arlington Road, Sixth Sense and American Beauty, where I can't talk about the whole movie because of the big surprise twist at the end.  In Fight Club, the end is a big surprise but it can't save this movie from being a bit of a letdown. However, the first half of the movie is very good. It has some very interesting direction from David Fincher who is already famous/infamous for Alien 3 and Seven.  But it was too long and worse than that it felt too long.  It starts out a bit like a dark version of American Beauty with an unhappy guy (Edward Norton) who can't sleep and is looking for more out of life.  He  finds happiness by attending twelve step programs for problems, such as testicular cancer, that he doesn't have.  All is well until he meets a woman (Helena Bonham Carter) who is doing just the same thing.  At this point, Norton meets Brad Pitt who plays a Soap salesman trying to escape from the shackles of everyday life.  Here it is very reminiscent of the book The Dice Man by Luke Rhinehart.  In this book, a man decides that he will make all his decisons, big and small, by rolling dice and following the result no matter what.  In this movie, Norton and Pitt found Fight Club which starts out as a place for disaffected men to fight each other but then leads to more and more outlandish tasks for the members to perform.  This first half of the movie is very stylish and entertaining.  But when it tries to get serious and set up the big surprise (click here if you want me to spoil the surprise ending for you),  it isn't so much fun anymore.  In particular, once you know what's going on, you look back and can't figure out how it could have worked that way.  Pitt, Norton and Carter are all good.  It's nice to see Carter in something other than a historical costume drama. Meatloaf does a weird turn as a twelve step program member who joins Fight Club.  As you might guess from the trailers, there's a lot of blood. It's not quite as bad as Starship Troopers but I was forced to look away from the screen several times during the movie.  Unfortunately, this is another movie like Eyes Wide Shut where I got excited and involved in the beginning but long before the end I was wishing the credits would roll.