“How much can you know about yourself if you’ve never really been in a fight?”
– Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt) asks of Edward Norton shortly after they meet.
Men have probably been asking each other this question ever since David Fincher’s anarchic masterpiece was released in 1999. The movie was based on the equally classic novel by Chuck Palahniuk.
One of the most iconic scenes is the one when Brad Pitt grabs the camera by the throat and bellows the standards by which Fight Club will be run. The Tyler Durden monolog and the rules are intercut with shots of the average guy taking off wedding rings, slipping out of loafers, and slowly measuring each other. Then the middle children of history discover a side of themselves they never knew existed.
Fight Club really is a dark comedy disguised as a thriller. As Edward Norton’s office slowly becomes filled with men in business clothes and bruises. No one comments on it. They can’t. It’s the first two rules, after all.