Fight Club (film)
1999 film directed by David Fincher
Fight Club is a 1999 film about an insomniac office worker, looking for a way to change his life, who crosses paths with a devil-may-care soap maker, forming an underground fight club that evolves into something much, much more.
Mischief. Mayhem. Soap. (taglines)
- Bob had bitch tits.
- People are always asking me if I know Tyler Durden.
- When the fight was over, nothing was solved, but nothing mattered. We all felt saved.
- If you wake up at a different time, in a different place, could you wake up as a different person?
- Strangers with this kind of honesty make me grow a big rubbery one.
- You wake up at SeaTac, SFO, LAX. You wake up at O'Hare, Dallas-Fort Worth, BWI. Pacific, mountain, central. Lose an hour, gain an hour. This is your life, and it's ending one minute at a time.
- I am Jack's... complete lack of surprise.
- On a long enough time line, the survival rate for everyone drops to zero.
- I felt like destroying something beautiful.
- I am Jack's wasted life.
- I am Jack's smirking revenge.
- When you have insomnia, you're never really asleep... and you're never really awake.
- With insomnia, nothing's real. Everything's far away. Everything's a copy of a copy of a copy.
- Fight club wasn't about winning or losing. It wasn't about words. The hysterical shouting was in tongues, like at a Pentecostal Church.
- Tyler built himself an army. Why was Tyler Durden building an army? To what purpose? For what greater good? In Tyler we trusted.
- When you have a gun in your mouth, you can only speak in vowels.
- I want you to really listen to me. My eyes are open.
- You met me at a very strange time in my life.
- Gentlemen, welcome to Fight Club. The first rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. The second rule of Fight Club is: You do not talk about Fight Club. Third rule of Fight Club: Someone yells "Stop!", goes limp, taps out, the fight is over. Fourth rule: Only two guys to a fight. Fifth rule: One fight at a time, fellas. Sixth rule: No shirts, no shoes. Seventh rule: Fights will go on as long as they have to. And the eighth and final rule: If this is your first night at Fight Club, you have to fight.
- Self-improvement is masturbation. Now, self-destruction...
- Our fathers were our models for God, if our fathers bailed, what does that tell you about God?
- Man, I see in Fight Club the strongest and smartest men who've ever lived. I see all this potential, and I see it squandered. God damn it, an entire generation pumping gas, waiting tables; slaves with white collars. Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need. We're the middle children of history, man. No purpose or place. We have no Great War. No Great Depression. Our great war is a spiritual war. Our great depression is our lives. We've all been raised on television to believe that one day we'd all be millionaires, and movie gods, and rock stars, but we won't. And we're slowly learning that fact. And we're very, very pissed off.
- In the world I see; you're stalking elk through the damp canyon forests around the ruins of Rockefeller Center. You'll wear leather clothes that will last you the rest of your life. You'll climb the wrist-thick kudzu vines that wrap the Sears Tower. And when you look down, you'll see tiny figures pounding corn, laying strips of venison on the empty car pool lane of some abandoned superhighway.
- Without pain, without sacrifice, we would have nothing.
- It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything.
- You are not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
- Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don't need.
- Hi, you're gonna call off your rigorous investigation. You're gonna publicly state that there is no underground group, or, these guys are gonna take your balls. They're gonna send one to the New York Times, one to the LA Times, press release style. Look, the people you are after are the people you depend on: we cook your meals, we haul your trash, we connect your calls, we drive your ambulances, we guard you while you sleep. Do not fuck with us.
- Hitting bottom isn't a weekend retreat. It's not a goddamn seminar. Stop trying to control everything and just let go! LET GO!
- The things you own end up owning you.
- You have to consider the possibility that God does not like you, never wanted you, in all probability he hates you. It's not the worst thing that could happen.
- Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken.
- If we are God's unwanted children, so be it!
- First you've gotta know - not fear, know - that someday you're gonna die.
- I look like you wanna look, I fuck like you wanna fuck, I am smart, capable, and most importantly, I'm free in all the ways that you are not.
- We're consumers. We are the byproducts of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
- You wanna make an omelet, you gotta break some eggs.
- Listen up, maggots! You are not special. You are not a beautiful or unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everything else. We are the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
- A condom is the glass slipper of our generation. You slip one on when you meet a stranger. You dance all night, and then you throw it away. The condom, I mean, not the stranger.
- My God … I haven't been fucked like that since grade school.
- Candy-stripe a cancer ward. It's not my problem.
- I've got a stomach full of Xanax. I took what was left in the bottle. It might have been too much.
- [on the phone, after taking a bottle of sleeping pills] This isn't a real suicide-thing. This is probably one of those cry-for-help things... You're going to have to keep me up aaaall night.
- It's a bridesmaid's dress. I got it at a second-hand store. It was loved intensely for one night.. then cast aside.
- Narrator: When people think you're dying, they really, really listen to you, instead of just …
- Marla Singer: … instead of just waiting for their turn to speak?
- Narrator: Yeah. Yeah.
- Narrator: A new car built by my company leaves somewhere traveling at 60 mph. The rear differential locks up. The car crashes and burns with everyone trapped inside. Now, should we initiate a recall? Take the number of vehicles in the field, A, multiply by the probable rate of failure, B, multiply by the average out-of-court settlement, C. A times B times C equals X. If X is less than the cost of a recall, we don't do one.
- Woman on plane: Are there a lot of these kinds of accidents?
- Narrator: You wouldn't believe.
- Woman on plane: Which car company do you work for?
- Narrator: A major one.
- [Plane turns heavily, narrator thinks to himself]: Every time the plane banked sharply on takeoff or landing, I prayed for a crash, or mid air collision, anything. Life insurance pays triple when you die on a business trip.
- [Narrator's bags have just been confiscated]
- Narrator: Was it ticking?
- Airport Security Officer: Actually, throwers don't worry about ticking 'cause modern bombs don't tick.
- Narrator: Sorry, throwers?
- Airport Security Officer: Baggage handlers. But when a suitcase vibrates, then the throwers gotta call the police.
- Narrator: My suitcase was vibrating?
- Airport Security Officer: Nine times out of ten it's an electric razor. But … every once in a while [looks around, leans in conspiratorially] … it's a dildo. [leans back] Of course, it's company policy never to imply ownership in the event of a dildo. We have to use the indefinite article, "a dildo", never … your dildo.
- Narrator: I don't own a dildo!
- Narrator: Let me tell you a little bit about Tyler Durden. Tyler was a night person. While the rest of us were sleeping, he worked. He had one part time job as a projectionist. See, a movie doesn't come all on one big reel. It comes on a few. So someone has to be there to switch the projectors at the exact moment that one reel ends and the next one begins. If you look for it, you can see these little dots come into the upper right-hand corner of the screen.
- [In the background, Tyler points to the corner of the screen as one such mark briefly appears.]
- Tyler Durden: In the industry, we call them cigarette burns.
- Narrator: That's the cue for a changeover. He flips the projectors, the movie keeps right on going, and nobody in the audience has any idea.
- Tyler Durden: And why would anyone want this shit job?
- Narrator: Because it affords him other interesting opportunities.
- Tyler Durden: Like splicing single frames of pornography into family films.
- Narrator: So when the snooty cat and the courageous dog with the celebrity voices meet for the first time in reel three, that's when you'll catch a flash of Tyler's contribution to the film.
- [As the audience is watching the film, pornography flashes for a split second]
- Narrator: Nobody knows that they saw it, but they did.
- Tyler Durden: A nice, big cock.
- [Several audience members look rattled, a little girl cries]
- Narrator: Even a hummingbird couldn't catch Tyler at work.
- Narrator: When you buy furniture, you tell yourself, that’s it. That’s the last sofa I’ll need. Whatever else happens, got that sofa problem handled. I had it all. I had a stereo that was very decent. A wardrobe that was getting very respectable. I was close to being complete.
- Tyler: Shit man, now it’s all gone.
- Narrator: All… gone.
- Tyler: All gone. Do you know what a duvet is?
- Narrator: A comforter.
- Tyler: It’s a blanket. Just a blanket. Why do guys like you and I know what a duvet is? Is this essential to our survival in the hunter-gatherer sense of the word? No. What are we, then?
- Narrator: I don’t know. Consumers.
- Tyler Durden: Right. We're consumers. We are by-products of a lifestyle obsession. Murder, crime, poverty, these things don't concern me. What concerns me are celebrity magazines, television with 500 channels, some guy's name on my underwear. Rogaine, Viagra, Olestra.
- Narrator: Martha Stewart.
- Tyler Durden: Fuck Martha Stewart. Martha's polishing the brass on the Titanic. It's all going down, man. So fuck off with your sofa units and strine green stripe patterns, I say never be complete, I say stop being perfect, I say let... lets evolve, let the chips fall where they may. But that's me, and I could be wrong. Maybe it’s a terrible tragedy.
- [Tyler and Narrator stop outside a convenience store at night. Tyler takes out a gun and walks into the store to do their homework assignment of a "human sacrifice", while Narrator protests. Tyler forces the clerk out the back exit at gun point.]
- Voice-over: On a long enough timeline the survival rate for everybody drops to zero.
- Narrator: Stop! What are we doing? Come on! God!
- Tyler Durden: Hands behind your back. Give me your wallet.
- [The clerk, now kneeling, hands him his wallet.]
- Tyler Durden: Raymond K. Hessel. 1320 South East spanning apartment A. Small cramped basement apartment, Raymond?
- Raymond K. Hessel: How did you know?
- Tyler Durden: 'Cause they give shitty basement apartments letters instead of numbers. Raymond, you are going to die.
- [Raymond begins to cry. Tyler examines content of the wallet.]
- Tyler Durden: Is that your mom and dad? Mom and Dad are going to have to call up kindly Doctor So-and-so. Pick up your dental records. Wanna know why? Because there's gonna be nothing left of your face.
- Narrator: Oh come on, come on.
- Tyler Durden: An expired community college student ID. What did you study, Raymond?
- Raymond K. Hessel: S-stuff.
- Tyler Durden: Stuff? Were the mid-terms hard? I asked you what you studied!
- Raymond K. Hessel: Biology mostly.
- Tyler Durden: Why?
- Raymond K. Hessel: I don't know.
- Tyler Durden: What did you wanna be, Raymond K. Hessel? The question, Raymond! Was "What did you want to be"?!
- Narrator: Answer him, Raymond! Jesus!
- Raymond K. Hessel: Veterinarian, veterinarian.
- Tyler Durden: Animals.
- Raymond K. Hessel: Yeah animals and stuff.
- Tyler Durden: And stuff, yeah I got that. That means you have to get more schooling.
- Raymond K. Hessel: Too much school.
- Tyler Durden: Would you rather be dead? Would you rather die? Here, on your knees in the back of a convenience store?
- Raymond K. Hessel: No, please no!
- [Tyler takes his gun down, takes out Raymond's driver's license throwing the wallet in front of Raymond.]
- Tyler Durden: I'm keeping your license. I'm gonna check in on you. I know where you live. If you're not on your way to becoming a veterinarian in six weeks, you will be dead. Now run on home.
- [Raymond gets up and runs into the night.]
- Tyler Durden: Run Forrest, run!
- Narrator: I feel ill.
- Tyler Durden: Imagine how he feels.
- Narrator: Come on, this isn't funny! That wasn't funny. What the fuck was the point of that?!
- Tyler Durden: Tomorrow will be the most beautiful day of Raymond K. Hessel's life. His breakfast will taste better than any meal you and I have ever tasted.
- Voice-over: You had to give it to him. He had a plan. And it started to make sense in a Tyler sort of way. No fear, no distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide.
- [Tyler throws gun to Narrator who opens the cylinder to find no bullets inside.]
- Narrator: I felt like putting a bullet between the eyes of every Panda that wouldn't screw to save its species. I wanted to open the dump valves on oil tankers and smother all those French beaches I'd never see. I wanted to breathe smoke.
- Tyler Durden: Where'd you go psycho boy?
- Narrator: I felt like destroying something beautiful.
- Narrator: I know it seems like I have more than one side sometimes...
- Marla Singer: More than one side? You're Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Jackass!
- How much can you know about yourself, if you've never been in a fight?
- When you wake up in a different place at a different time, can you wake up as a different person?
- Losing all hope is freedom
- Mischief. Mayhem. Soap.
- It's only after we've lost everything that we are free to do anything.
- This is your life and it's ending one minute at a time.
- Fuck Martha Stewart ..its all going down
- You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world.
About Fight Club (film)Edit
- Norton plays Jack, a generic name for a generic guy. He's a mild-mannered corporate drone whose complacently consumerist lifestyle is turned inside out when he encounters one Tyler Durden. The punkishly anarchic Durden (Pitt) is everything Jack would like to be but isn't, his own walking, talking id. Like Terry Southern's Magic Christian, Durden expresses his repugnance of society's materialistic values in a series of actes gratuits of mischievous subversion. Moonlighting as a cinema projectionist, he splices single, subliminally registered frames from pornographic films into bland mainstream fare; moonlighting as a waiter in a swanky restaurant, he pees into the oxtail soup.
Bare-knuckled and bare-chested (they really ought to be bare-assed as well, but that might be just a teensy bit too homoerotic for comfort), the two of them start pummelling one another for thrills, only gradually discovering that there's a whole world out there of emasculated American males just waiting for an opportunity to let the sweat, blood and sperm pent up within them ooze out from every pore.
Well, why not? It's a promising idea for a film, especially a satirical comedy, which is what Fight Club unambiguously is for its first half-hour. Fincher is a vulgar, flashy film-maker (he directed Seven and The Game) who doesn't so much make films as take them, the way we refer to a photographer taking, rather than making, photographs: he's interested only in surfaces and he likes even grunge to glitter. (The French, as usual, coined the perfect expression for this style: le look.) He's a sharp scriptwriter, however, and Norton's omnipresent voice-off narration, coupled with the subject's sociological relevance (cf Susan Faludi's new book Stiffed: The Betrayal of the American Man), initially sucks one in.
- Gilbert Adair, "Sometimes it's hard to be a man", The Independent, (14 November 1999).
- Fight Club starts out funny. The first 30 minutes are overwhelmingly perfect. Like the beginning of American Beauty, the opening sequence whirls you through time, taking you in and out of the narrator's (Norton's) yuppie disillusionment. Poor Edward Norton—his character isn't even given a name. For good reason, since his identity consists of what furniture to buy, what shoes match his suit, and which dinette set best fits his non-existent personality. In this yuppie's life, IKEA is synonymous with orgasm. Enter Tyler Durden. Brad Pitt takes on the challenging role of this American psycho—a soap salesman who lives as a squatter, steals a sportscar one day and ditches it the next, and takes random nightshift jobs to survive. Tyler wants "freedom" from yuppie existence and he makes it a point to obliterate any rules with which he comes in contact—he pees in customers' food, inserts frames of nudity into family films at random movie theaters, and, of course, starts a Fight Club with Norton. It happens in a matter of seconds. He asks Norton to hit him as hard as he can and—bam!--shirtless yuppies are pounding each other to bloody shreds in bar basements all over the city.
The opening of Fight Club makes it clear that the movie's a satire. It's supposed to be a biting mockery of yuppie angst.
- The problem, unfortunately, is that Fincher completely underestimates Edward Norton as an actor. If Fight Club is to be a successful satire, the audience can't fall in love with Norton's narrator. We shouldn't see him as the righteous crusader, the man who can do no wrong. Because when we take every punch Norton takes, we lose our sense of detachment. We lose that ironic distance—the distance that makes a movie like American Beauty such a compelling psychological portrait. There's no seeing the forest from the trees here because of Norton's intensity and ability to elicit endless empathy. We're his unconditional ally. But after being pummeled by Fight Club into bloody submission, we're just begging for mercy and an ending that will leave our senses—not our intellect—intact.
But there's one other glaring flaw. Unfortunately, it's an actor. Can you guess who it is? Oh yes, Brad Pitt should have been eternally jailed by the acting police after Seven Years in Tibet, Meet Joe Black, etc. etc. The guy has no range. He just yells when he's trying to be profound and adds a slight stutter when he's trying to be subtle. Pitt tries so damn hard not to be a pretty face, but he spends half the movie flexing his muscles and tearing off his shirt. And worst of all, he's self-conscious! Despite his posing, he's not a confident actor. Instead, he's annoying rather than intimidating; dumb rather than deep; an irritating yapper rather than the moral voice of the film.
Perhaps if Pitt and Norton had switched parts, it might have worked. After all, we don't feel anything for Tyler Durden and we care far too much about Norton's narrator. But here's the only recourse. I hope David Fincher sits in a crowded movie theater a few times over the next couple weeks to watch audience reaction to his film. Maybe he'll realize that Fight Club isn't as "funny" as he thinks it is. Maybe he'll realize that biting satire often blurs into the irresponsible. Maybe he'll realize he took the "traumatized male" theme one step too far. Or maybe he's still mesmerized by the sheer brutality of it all—the glistening blood spattered on the wall. He's so enthralled by its color, its undeniable immediacy, that he can't see its indelible pattern.
And even more dangerously, he can't tell whose blood it is.
- Soman S. chainani, "Fight Club", The Harvard Crimson, (October 15, 1999).
- "Fight Club" is the most frankly and cheerfully fascist big-star movie since "Death Wish," a celebration of violence in which the heroes write themselves a license to drink, smoke, screw and beat one another up.
Sometimes, for variety, they beat up themselves. It's macho porn—the sex movie Hollywood has been moving toward for years, in which eroticism between the sexes is replaced by all-guy locker-room fights. Women, who have had a lifetime of practice at dealing with little-boy posturing, will instinctively see through it; men may get off on the testosterone rush. The fact that it is very well made and has a great first act certainly clouds the issue.
Edward Norton stars as a depressed urban loner filled up to here with angst. He describes his world in dialogue of sardonic social satire. His life and job are driving him crazy. As a means of dealing with his pain, he seeks out 12-step meetings, where he can hug those less fortunate than himself and find catharsis in their suffering. It is not without irony that the first meeting he attends is for post-surgical victims of testicular cancer, since the whole movie is about guys afraid of losing their cojones.
- Only gradually are the final outlines of his master plan revealed. Is Tyler Durden in fact a leader of men with a useful philosophy? "It's only after we've lost everything that we're free to do anything," he says, sounding like a man who tripped over the Nietzsche display on his way to the coffee bar in Borders. In my opinion, he has no useful truths. He's a bully—Werner Erhard plus S & M, a leather club operator without the decor. None of the Fight Club members grows stronger or freer because of their membership; they're reduced to pathetic cultists. Issue them black shirts and sign them up as skinheads. Whether Durden represents hidden aspects of the male psyche is a question the movie uses as a loophole—but is not able to escape through, because "Fight Club" is not about its ending but about its action.
- Of course, "Fight Club" itself does not advocate Durden's philosophy. It is a warning against it, I guess; one critic I like says it makes "a telling point about the bestial nature of man and what can happen when the numbing effects of day-to-day drudgery cause people to go a little crazy." I think it's the numbing effects of movies like this that cause people go to a little crazy. Although sophisticates will be able to rationalize the movie as an argument against the behavior it shows, my guess is that audience will like the behavior but not the argument. Certainly they'll buy tickets because they can see Pitt and Norton pounding on each other; a lot more people will leave this movie and get in fights than will leave it discussing Tyler Durden's moral philosophy. The images in movies like this argue for themselves, and it takes a lot of narration (or Narration) to argue against them.
- A stylized version of our IKEA present. It is talking about very simple concepts. We're designed to be hunters and we're in a society of shopping. There's nothing to kill anymore, there's nothing to fight, nothing to overcome, nothing to explore. In that societal emasculation this everyman is created.
- We wanted a title sequence that started in the fear center of the brain. [When you hear] the sound of a gun being cocked that's in your mouth, the part of you brain that gets everything going, that realizes that you are fucked - we see all the thought processes, we see the synapses firing, we see the chemical electrical impulses that are the call to arms. And we wanted to sort of follow that out. Because the movie is about thought, it's about how this guy thinks. And it's from his point of view, solely. So I liked the idea of starting a movie from thought, from the beginning of the first fear impulse that went, Oh shit, I'm fucked, how did I get here?
- The movie is not that violent. There are ideas in the movie that are scary, but the film isn't about violence, the glorification of violence or the embracing of violence. In the movie, violence is a metaphor for feeling. It's a film about the problems or requirements involved with being masculine in today's society.
- I do like movies that take a toll on the audience. I want to work the subconscious. I want to involve you in ways in which you might not necessarily want to get involved. I want to play off those things that you're expecting to get when the lights go down and the 20th Century Fox logo comes up. There's an audience expectation and I'm interested in how movies play with—and off—that expectation. That's what I'm interested in.
- "Fight Club" appears threatening to some because it seems to challenge the safety of the modern world. But while Edward Norton and Brad Pitt seem only to offer unprovoked violence and mayhem, there are some salient points on offer behind it all.
Namely, it is the examination of a man who has allowed himself to become sucked into the minutiae of his corporate job. He further exacerbates his spiral of paranoia by turning to other corporate gimmicks for solutions, and treating them like a religion. He is Edward Norton and Fight Club is his desperate reaction.
- Almar Haflidason, "Fight Club Review", BBC, (14 November 2000).
- Edward Norton: The reason Fight Club penetrated to a lot of people our age was that it grappled with that idea that there’s this person that I am who’s forced to move around in this neutered, contemporary world, but people don’t know what I’ve got inside me. That sensation—not just in young men, but in people in general—or that idea of how to get your authentic self out there in the contemporary world. I think the reason that lodged with a lot of people was that people really do understand that sense that there’s a schism inside them that they’re aware of, that doesn’t get expression. I feel that way. I think a lot of people our age feel that way. They feel more complex than the world allows them to be.
- Guaranteed: Fight Club will blow your skirt up. It’s not just the rush of seeing Edward Norton, Brad Pitt and director David Fincher hit career peaks in a groundbreaking film. And it’s not the sick kick of watching Gen X amateurs bare-knuckling each other in seedy basements; that’d get old fast. The film’s bold, bruising humor leaves marks on a wide range of hot-button issues: It’s about being young, male and powerless against the pacifying drug of consumerism. It’s about solitude, despair and bottled-up rage. It’s about how not to feel dead as Y2K approaches. It’s about daring to imagine the disenfranchised reducing the world to rubble and starting over.
For daring to imagine, Fight Club will take a few hits. Fincher’s film of Chuck Palahniuk’s 1996 novel – with a high-voltage script by newcomer Jim Uhls – is already being misinterpreted as an “apology for fascism.” One critic wondered whether Rupert Murdoch’s Fox 2000, the company releasing Fight Club, “knew what it was doing” in spending $70 million on a movie that is “not only anti-capitalism but anti-society and, indeed, anti-God.” My take is that Fight Club is pro-thinking, no matter what deities are offended. Is that threatening? You bet.
- Norton catches lightning in a revelatory performance that keeps delivering miracles of character nuance. He may be the best actor of his generation. Watching Jack beat himself bloody in front of his boss is a high-wire act that belongs in a time capsule. And Pitt, in his riskiest role to date, uses his sexual swagger to subversive comic effect; he’s freer, funnier and freakier than you’ve ever seen him. It’s Tyler who shows Jack how to add nitric acid to soap and make nitro-glycerin. It’s Tyler who turns fight clubs into militias and then bomb squads ready to blast the foundations of the planet’s power base: banks and credit-card companies.
- Peter Travers, "Fight Club", Rolling Stone, (October 16, 1999).
- "We had some great choreographers on the fight scene once we got into the club itself," says Pitt, who plays Tyler Durden, a self-styled male-consciousness raiser. Newsweek's David Anson reviews Pitt's character as "a kind of Nietzschean Robin Hood, using violence to restore dignity to the benighted American male.
- "If Rudy Giuliani was upset by a little bit of elephant dung on a portrait of the Virgin Mary," writes critic Jason Kaufman for NY Rock, referring to the New York mayor's recent displeasure with the Brooklyn Museum of Art's "Sensation" exhibit, "'Fight Club' should give him a coronary on the spot."
- Anson, in his Newsweek review, says the film trades in homoerotic imagery without addressing it: "When the movie, after satirizing the gym-enhanced bodies of men in Gucci subway ads ("Self-improvement is masturbation," Tyler pronounces), cuts to the impeccably lean and cut body of its leading man, it is in the grips of a style-content contradiction that this slick denunciation of surface values battles throughout."
- Paul Vercammen, "Brad Pitt spars with 'Fight Club' critics", CNN, (October 14, 1999).