#037 – Fight Club and Letting Our Stuff Define Us

#037 – Fight Club and Letting Our Stuff Define Us

On this episode of the Reel World Theology Podcast:


On the cusp of its 15th (Yes! It’s been that long.) Anniversary, we break the first and second rule of Fight Club by, of course, talking about Fight Club. If you can manage to forgive us for our rule breaking then you can enjoy a great conversation about how we identify ourselves by what we own, how men have a hard time communicating, how Tyler Durden was almost right, and how 1999 was possibly the most epic year of movies in our lifetime.


Download Episode 037 Here:
Reel World Theology #037 – Fight Club and Letting Our Stuff Define Us
Reel World Theology on Stitcher


This weeks’ panel included Griffin Kale and Joshua Crabb.

Griffin Kale (@griffin_kale)
RWT Contributor

Joshua Crabb (@JorshCrebb)
RWT Contributor
13Past1 Blog


Podcast Notes and Links:

Fight Club on IMDB

Fight Club on Rotten Tomatoes

Edward Norton Interview

How Bradd Pitt Changed Hollywood Action Movies at Cinemablend

Fright Club (Chuck Palahniuk Interview) at The Guardian

David Fincher Interview at HitFix

25 Things You Didn’t Know About the Movie Fight Club at Buzzfeed



Excellent job gents. Couple of things I would have liked to hear though. The podcast’s motto is “entertainment is not mindless”, but you started the podcast talking about how immediately after watching the movie you went out and vandalized things. Which is by definition somewhat mindless, except for the garbage can pyramid thing. That’s pushing kids to be the most creative vandals they can be, which I applaud. I digress, I mention this only because it was perhaps an opportunity missed. Often in the church movies are shunned or made off-limits to teenagers and youth, and obviously this can lead to a million other arguments. You also touched on our generation (probably all of them) being “father-less”. Both of these two points in the podcast would make for an excellent opportunity to talk about how as Christian men, whether we are fathers or mentors, have some sort of responsibility to know what the new generation is watching and to talk to them about it. Tyler’s speech on God could be quite devastating and/or influential. It would be nice to hear your thoughts on how this plays out in real life, because I have no clue. But maybe keep it under six minutes and thirty seconds because we don’t want to get too preachy here, haha.

Also, I can’t believe no-one touched on the face that at the end of the movie the main character is betrayed by one of his closest friends, offers himself as a sacrifice to save us, and all our debt ends up erased. Come on. Too on the nose?

Hey, thanks so much for listening! I couldn’t agree more. I think we made it at least somewhat clear that we are not committing acts of vandalism right now, at least, I can say I’m not. I can’t vouch for Fizz, he’s kinda shady. As teenagers, vandalism is funny, but thankfully we’ve mostly grown out of that mindset and can say that the movie makes us think deeper than the surface level violence and pseudo-machismo of being vandals and rebels.

I agree, I wish we would have had time to touch a little bit more on a counter-point to the assertion that Gen X (and Y) are father-less
generations. Even more so, Tyler Durden says to, “F*** redemption,” as a direct insult and challenge to the notion that God the Father redeemed us through Jesus Christ. One of the major underpinnings of the movie that we did not touch on was the Nietzschian idea of Tyler Durden as the ubermensch, or superman, that is fully liberated and ultimately how dangerous and wrong that assumption is, hence, our discussion on how the film evolves into a response to the response of consumerism.

In regards to your last point, I feel like that might too much of a Jesus juke, you know? However, that is one awesome observation! The bottom line is we hope to make this comment section go crazy, since there is SO much to talk about in this movie. Our podcast could only dig a little deeper at a couple points. So, talk away.

Love the comment! I think you hit on a lot of good points and I hope to address them all 🙂

I think something unsaid in our conversation was that when we were younger we were definitely watching entertainment mindlessly and thus, did go out and do teenage hooligan-esk things. In my case, I wasn’t even a believer. It is amazing how much more than a “anti-establishment” film this is now that we are watching with our minds open– this also speaks to your point of “responsibility for a new generation.” Though we did not mention it in this particular podcast, we have often mentioned how we let our children, kids, teenagers watch movies and then never engage them and worse, use it as a babysitter. One of the reasons we often review or discuss animated films or MARVEL movies is so that parents, youth ministers/workers, families, can have conversations about what youth are going to watch, whether restricted or not.

Josh covered our touching on Tyler’s God speech and how we tend to avoid “Jesus jukes.” It is why we also don’t plan to take valuable podcast episodes to talk about overtly Christian movies. The obviousness is usually too on-the-nose and often too flawed to really address.

All in all though– you have pointed out a lot of areas where we could have continued to talk about this film forever. So worth watching and thinking about. Thanks for listening!

Ok, let me start by saying that based on evidence presented– I change my vote! But, I think the better way (and I think we slightly hinted at this) is to split my vote. On one hand, if I had to pick a movie library that consisted of 1999 movies or 1994 movies, then, again, I would pick 1994, but, on the other hand, when I think of a year of movies that changed how movies were made and thought about, then 1999 wins. Fight Club, The Matrix, American Beauty, The Sixth Sense and, heck, even American Pie ushered in a completely new line of films in their respective genres.

Either way, we have given ourselves two amazing lists to work from when we start reviewing older films.

I agree 1999 was a game changer. Good or bad Star Wars came back. Also multiple cult hits like Office Space, Galaxy Quest and The Boondock Saints. New ways to market and film a movie with The Blair Witch Project. Austin Powers came back and The Iron Giant came into our lives. Being John Malkovich brought writers back to people’s attention, we wouldn’t have great movies to talk about without the writers. And so many more great ones. Both years deserve credit for greatness.

Ha. I wouldn’t necessarily agree with the assessment of how some of the films have aged poorly (especially Fight Club), but man, there were some definitive films made in that year. Didn’t even know how good we had it!

I just watched Clerks and Tombstone which were both from 1994, and completely independent of this thread had the exact same conversation (albeit, with myself when I looked up 1994 and 1999). I think we can safely say that in a Battle Royale between 1999 and 1994, it would end in a draw when Fight Club clotheslines itself and Pulp Fiction over the ropes at the exact same time to set up a three way title bout with 1984.

Do I smell a Top 5 list? Or maybe it is just what the Rock is cooking…

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