release year: 1999
viewing setting: home DVD, 2/25/06)
synopsis: An unhappy white-collar worker finds therapy (and a new way of life) by ceasing to care about anything.
impressions: This movie was terrible. It starts out with a good premise - that the vast majority of people are materialistic and living meaningless lives - but it takes the concept too far. By the end, we're watching mental illness, people who respect no authority, people who are total losers and just don't care. Again, there are some good points to this, and also some good moments (e.g. how the narrator tells off ihs boss, and how the police chief is dealt with.) Unfortunately, the movie takes the concept to its logical (and self-destructive) conclusion. It's okay to not give a damn, within your own world, but when you start to harm other people, or set into motion things that will harm other people, it's gone too far. The idea of hitting rock-bottom and losing everything in order to finally feel alive may sound appealing, but I'd bet that people who think this movie is great are not willing to obey its principles and go about demolishing their lives (and bodies.) This sort of movie is for people who haven't reached their potential in life and need someone or something to blame.
something this movie has that no other movie has: Bare-knuckles no-hold-barred fighting for no tangible reward, but rather the true freedom that the participants feel when beating the crap out of each other.
acting: No complaints here; Brad Pitt is the head anarchist, Edward Norton is his disciple, Helena Bonham Carter is a burned-out waste. Good acting, badly-written roles.
final word: This movie will appeal to some people, but I'd bet you that none of them believe in its ideas enough to follow them in real life.
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