Fight Club, like its latter-day counterpart Inception, is the sum total of its wasted talent. Unlike Christopher Nolan, for whom Inception represented his personal white whale chased, captured, and carved, Fincher can't be held to accountable for the many weaknesses of Fight Club. That can be blamed on his source material: the singular novel Chuck Palahniuk's been writing for the better part of the past two decades—Fight Club is merely an early incarnation. Read in isolation, it's possible to believe than any one of Palahniuk's books contains the potential to be more than it is—that its strengths, few though they are, may augur the arrival of a more sophisticated writer.
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