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Review: `Fight Club'

What Is It?

The latest film from David "Seven" Fincher, an everyday tale of fist- fightin' folk. Inadequate pen-pusher meets super-cool travelling salesman and regains self-respect via bare-knuckle brawling. The fight scenes are reckoned to be among the most realistic ever shot.

Who's In It?

Brad Pitt, getting punched but not bruised. Edward Norton, getting both. Helena Bonham-Carter, chain-smoking and generally vamping it up. And Meat Loaf, as a man with no testicles.

What They Say About It

"Fincher started out with a good idea about male insecurity, but somehow got this snarled up with a daft story about right-wing nutters. It's hard to think of another movie this year that has begun so promisingly and ended so poorly," Anthony Quinn, The Independent.

"Fight Club is a dumbed-down extremism, Extremism Lite. Moreover, those much-vaunted fight scenes, for all their crunch, nose-popping verite, are as free from genuine consequence as Itchy and Scratchy," Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian.

"Shot in a convulsive, stream-of-unconsciousness style... Fight Club does everything short of rattling your seat to get a reaction. You can call that irresponsible. Or you can call it the only essential Hollywood film of the year," Tom Charity, Time Out.

Where You Can See It

Fight Club (18, 134 mins) is on general release.