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Critical Reception

Janet Maslin

Her overall theory relates the dangers of the, lure of violence in an even more dangerously regimented, dehumanized culture. Indeed, she relates that the film serves not as a criticism of only capitalism but also the worshipping of false idols such Tyler and as a whole, that the film ultimately serves to warn against the dehumanizing effect that the Capitalist society is having upon its men and how such effects can lead to Fascism.

Key Quote: If watched sufficiently mindlessly, it might be mistaken for a dangerous endorsement of totalitarian tactics and super-violent nihilism in an all-out assault on society. But this is a much less gruesome film than ''Seven'' and a notably more serious one. It means to explore the lure of violence in an even more dangerously regimented, dehumanized culture.

Radheyan Simonpillai

He gave the film a highly positive review, although he seems to believe that the film is, The last great male-centric movie of the last millennium and is seemingly enchanted with Tyler Durden saying that his message was as a whole right and that men should try to follow the film to emancipate themselves from the consumerist system that makes them impotent.

Key Quote:

To put it lightly, Fight Club depicts a world -- our world -- where mens dicks shrivel up by the constant stimulation of consumerism. That is, until he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a mans man and an idealistic rogue. Together they start Fight Club, an underground ring of bodily harm that escalates to a cult of terrorists bent on destroying Capitalism.

James Hoberman

Key Quote:

James believes as a whole that the film is, more touchy-feely and less poignant in its posturing. There's no search for transcendence here. Indeed, although he liked the film, he stated that its message was inherently deep and that instead largely entertaining in terms of its Oedipal concept which is changed by the film by the lack of a father.

Fight Club makes much of its tormented male characters' sense of abandonment: "We're a generation of men raised by women. . . . We are God's unwanted children." Unable to fight their fathers, they slug each other. In the movie's key scene, the narrator confronts his boss and proceeds to punch himself into a bloody pulp. As this self-administered beating suggests, Fight Club makes even the Nietz-schean will-to-power a joke. Here's a question for daytime TV: Is it possible to play Oedipus in a world without Dad?

Social Context
According to McCullough, the social context within the film can relate to the repressed rage of America from the Vietnam war ( fear of the domino effect & the spread of communism). Additionally, it can relate to the disparity, lack of effective leadership and the general sense of dystopia and collapse the American citizens may have been experiencing. He argued that as a whole, the film should be viewed as a fictional representation of a contemporary world which has the appearance of crisis, but the essence of Capitalism. Fight Club was released around a time where violence was very prevalent , and the release of the film was in fact delayed because of a shooting.

Negative Response By Peter Bradshaw ( The guardian)


This review was made a year after the release of fight club, and takes a negative angle on the film. Below is a summary of the main points of this review. The trajectory of Fight Club is baffling. In the first hour it is about the crisis of masculinity which is shown by the self-pitying guys hugging in groups and claiming victim status Whereas, towards the end of the film the storyline has catastrophically unravelled into a strident, shallow, pretentious bore with a twist that doesnt work. ( no substance or depth to the film) It touches on aspects of fascism; however it doesnt back this idea up. It is Pathetic and metaphorical that in the support group they have given the character tits after his balls have been cut off Tyler Durden is a charismatic and ghastly person. He introduces Ed to the Fight Club, which is where nerdy wimps get to reconnect life changingly with their inner macho men. The film falls apart when Tyler tries to use the fight club as the basis for a kind of anarcho-terrorist gang undermining and blowing up the symbols of bullshit corporate America which have taken their testicles away After 60 minutes, the humour within Fight Club plummets. The film endorses the crisis of masculinity as Tyler is presented as a deeply interesting Zeitgeist anti-hero.

Negative Response By Roger Ebert


The film is about freeing yourself from the shackles of modern life, which imprisons and emasculates men When the characters Ed and Tyler actually create the Fight Club, this is the key moment, where the film spirals out of control. It turns into a brutal, un- witty, and non stop violent film.
The movie is visceral and hard-edged, with levels of irony and commentary above and below the action. Ebert believed that if the film continued down the same root which was explored in the first act, it might have become a great film; however, the second and third acts greatly let it down. He said that Fight Club is a thrill ride masquerading as philosophy- the kind of ride where some people puke and others cant wait to get on again.