Trolling #48: Fight Club SUCKS!

Fight Club splash

When David Fincher’s Fight Club was released in theaters back in 1999, it was something of a flop. Critics were mixed on the stylistically daring and thematically unique adaptation of a famously unfilmable Chuck Palahniuk novel, and audiences were only mid-sized at best. Fight Club is, however, one of those ’90s films (like The Shawshank Redemption or Austin Powers) that found new life on home video, and quickly grew into one of the most celebrated films of its generation. It currently holds the #10 spot on IMDb’s Top 250, is often quoted by its myriad fans, and occasionally runs at late-night screenings at local movie houses. One could even say that it was Fight Club that turned David Fincher from a struggling genre player into a Hollywood darling.

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Here at Trolling, of course, when we hear words like “celebrated” and “beloved,” we instantly bring out the sledgehammers. Popularity and adoration make us suspicious, and anything that is particularly loved will feel the wrath of our deep, unforgiving critical scrutiny. We dig through the things you love, looking for things to hate. And, as it turns out, there’s plenty to hate about Fight Club. We’re about to break the first two rules, friends, and declare the following: Fight Club SUCKS. Let’s delve a bit:

Fight Club is bracing, thoughtful, and it looks amazing. It also gets points for telling a stirring original story in a daring way, and more points for including some actual philosophy. But, at the end of the day, Fight Club is chest-thumping claptrap for immature men who think violence is cathartic. It’s also sloppily constructed, too long, and hugely unfocused. It has its fans, but its fans seem to be constantly misinterpreting it.

Until next week, let the hate mail flow. 

Witney Seibold is a commentator at Nerdist, a contributor to the CraveOnline Film Channel, and co-host of The B-Movies Podcast. You can read his weekly Trolling articles here on Crave, and follow him on “Twitter” at @WitneySeibold, where he is slowly losing his mind.