Director David Fincher, loaded with don't-try-this-at-home ideas on how to prove yourself a man and not a mouse, traces a course of anti-Establishment insurgency, from small acts of personal liberation (peeing in the lobster bisque, splicing a frame of male genitals into the middle of a kiddie film) to organizing an underground bare-knuckle boxing club ("How much can you know about yourself if you've never been in a fight?") to masterminding a large-scale terrorist operation code-named Project Mayhem. (Brad Pitt, in loud shirts and spiked hair, leads the way for white-collar, buttoned-down Edward Norton, a loquacious narrator: "I wanted to open the valves on oil tankers and smother all those French beaches I'd never see.") A cheap-trick plot turn -- a mind-blower for the gullible -- pulls the rug out from beneath an already unbalanced movie: all attitude, no brains. The photography is all green. With Helena Bonham Carter and Meat Loaf. (1999) — Duncan Shepherd
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