Dir: David Fincher
Star: Brad Pitt
, Edward Norton
, Helena Bonham-Carter
, Meat Loaf
Fincher's output continues to impress, a steady curve up from the dismal Alien 3 to this, a crunchy and chewy little number that makes no pretence at having all the answers - or indeed, any answers at all - but asks some interesting questions about the pressure of modern life, and how we cope with it. For heroes Pitt and Norton, the answer is cathartic violence on each other, which leads to a more general attempt at rebellion. At first, it seems to be a comment on how even revolution can become prepackaged for the masses; then it flips off into a totally different direction, which is something of a pity, despite the new route offering plenty of food for thought.
Both Norton and Pitt are superb, the latter a major surprise; however, one imagines that despite much talk, the Academy Awards committee probably have their heads stuck too far up Tom Hanks' arse to reward it. On the other hand, Bonham-Carter is an irrelevance,
and is rapidly becoming the Traci Lords of mainstream cinema: forever
trying to break past her stereotype, yet merely proving that she's much
better sticking with it. Intense, subversive, with an aura of potential
lethality (which other film offers a recipe for napalm?), yet no threat to society (the recipe doesn't work) - perhaps the most perplexing question is, how the hell did such a non-PC project escape from post-Columbine Hollywood? But I'm very glad it did.