Saturday, May 28, 2011

So As Not To Break The Rules, This Is A Review Of Kung Fu Panda 2

“Fight Club” is—if such a thing exists—a philosophical action movie. People come to it for different reasons: to puzzle about things like society, boredom, and carnal impulses; to watch bloody, shirtless men hurting each other and to experience the ensuing desire to immediately go out and beat stuff up; or possibly to see it just to say they saw it, since it is fairly unanimous that this is an “awesome” movie, presenting valid arguments appealing to both ends of the moral and social spectrum. 

            The story is about and narrated by a nameless (there’s your first metaphor) corporate minion (Edward Norton) who incessantly attends support groups, though insomnia is his only ailment, and becomes addicted to the emotional vent that they provide for him in an otherwise emotionless life. This he does until a fellow phony named Marla (Helena Bonham-Carter) pops up and ruins his binge. He cannot deal with his façade being validated by the existence of someone in the same boat as him… much less a woman.

            Then he meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a macho soap salesman who seems to understand perfectly what is on the narrator’s (and our) minds. He makes things like holding a gun to the head of a store clerk and blowing up buildings seem perfectly logical; you’d be crazy not to do it. Materialism is his worst enemy. He leads the life that we all secretly wish we could lead. Not the carefree life of luxury and indulgence—the life of impulse without consequence. The life where pain is merely a side effect of achievement. The life where fear is overshadowed by adrenalin to the point of nonexistence. Hey, why should we worry about consequences when the worst consequence of all is death, and we’re all going to die anyway, right?

            The truth is, we all have a Tyler Durden inside of us. Freud called it the “Id” and said that if it is gone unchecked we would be a civilization of barbarians. “Fight Club” poses the question, “What if we are a civilization of barbarians? Are we not letting ourselves be destroyed by our own fears and lust for material?”

            It uses the glamorization of violence to ask this and does it so thickly it is sometimes plausible to assume that it is validating the very point that it is arguing against—that we are, in fact, barbarians who cannot balance ourselves between civility and all-out carnage… and given the choice, carnage is far more exciting. Especially when it is done with some fast-paced music, snazzy visual effects, and lots of explosions. 

            Like its narrator, “Fight Club” seemingly can’t make up its mind about the point that it is trying to make. It doesn’t know if thrills are what life is all about or if we need stability; and it isn’t sure if we can do any of it without falling into the leader-follower syndrome where the powerful take control of the weak and mold them into a culture of enslaved, dead minds. It is, often literally, fighting its self. Only at the end do we catch a glimpse of that one entity that may instigate symmetry. It’s not… can it be… love? 

Nah, this isn’t that kind of movie. Is it?

For an analysis far more intelligent and entertaining than the one above, check THIS out.


  1. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this movie. But his name was Robert Paulson.

  2. Rabbit- Happy? I believe someone owes me a guitar preformance.

    Yes Nico, PREFORMANCE. I am not ashamed.

  3. The 'Id' gone unchecked by what- our own conscience or a police force?

    I have never seen the movie, though, but that won't stop me from commenting about it. LOL. I don't like messages beaten into me.

  4. You must remember... the police have ids too :)
    I thought this one was kind of interesting since the point that it is trying to get across is up for debate.
    Due to it's violent and somewhat forceful nature, one would think that this movie would have a vivid message that it abides by. I was surprised that this was not the case.

  5. Ah. You read That Blond Guy's post, didn't you?


  6. Well, that's kind of a weird story...
    I read it having not seen Fight Club and knowing nothing of the plot. I thought his post was just another wacky adventure of That Blond Guy's brilliant imagination/reality.
    However, I had gotten Fight Club through Netflix earlier this month and finally got around to watching it just hours after reading his post.
    Needless to say, I was extremely weirded out.