This movie was pretty well-acted and well-directed, but philosophically it stunk like a wet dead dog. I'm giving away a dumb plot twist of Fight Club in the review, so read at your own peril!
Edward Norton plays a mindless consumer who slowly gets involved in stupid fistfights with other stupid mindless people like VH1 comeback sensation Meat Loaf. Brad Pitt plays Norton's imaginary buddy, Tyler Derden, who literally represents Norton's (and the audience's) 'id.'
Yes, Brad Pitt is imaginary. This is the dumb twist I warned you about. We're going along with Pitt and Norton the whole time, they meet on an airplane, they become friends, they're interacting, etc., and all of the sudden we learn Brad Pitt is imaginary. Pitt and Norton had a fistfight near the beginning of the film, but it turned out Norton was fighting himself. My God, the existential implications!
The whole imaginary doppelganger thing was kinda pulled off poorly, I mean, you don't just see the two interacting by themselves; they're in scenes where a lot of people are interacting with them, too, kind of squelching the idea that they are the same person. I don't know, maybe on second viewing this whole thing might seem a little better done, but I'm not giving them 2+ more hours of my friggin' time for a second chance.
The film seems to be presenting itself as a critique of modern society (with the obligatory cool soundtrack, of course). Occasionally Norton or Pitt will decry the rampant acquisitiveness of America, how everybody mindlessly buys and buys (Tyler makes his money selling soap to rich women, which he makes from rich women's fat stolen from liposuction clinics, hardy har).
Great, American society certainly deserves a lot of criticizing. However, they only criticize it in the most superficial way, pretty much using it just as an excuse to beat the crap out of each other in cool clothes and a nifty beat pulsing behind them. It's all fashion.
Pitt at one point says to the bonehead members of Fight Club that "we'll never be movie stars," but this coming from an actor more dandy than Leonardo DiCaprio, well, is this supposed to be ironic? Sarcastic? Stoopid?
Oh, on a side note, Meat Loaf's "bitch tits" weren't funny or clever, but he did look pretty good in short hair. Keep the look, man (minus the prosthetic chest).
See you at the movies. Save me the unstained seat.