FIGHT CLUB was never a movie you wanted to grow old with. Not that it hasn’t aged well since it came out in 1999—David Fincher’s audacious filmmaking techniques are still as striking as ever, and the impact of its final-act twist can still be felt in psychological thrillers today. But through its depiction of a particular variety of adolescent-male wish fulfillment, Fight Club’s ostensible critique doubles as a revel.
It’s screening this Saturday at the Hollywood Theater to commemorate the release of a hardcover collection of Fight Club 2, a comic book sequel originally published in 10 issues by Dark Horse Comics. Written by Chuck Palahniuk—who, of course, wrote the 1996 novel Fincher’s film is based on—and illustrated by Cameron Stewart, it continues the adventures of Tyler Durden, Marla Singer, and Fight Club’s nameless narrator (here, he’s called Sebastian).
The comic’s kind of a mess: The plot is fractured and tough to follow, and a few curveballs turn out to be wild pitches, such as the one that Tyler Durden is not merely an imagined figure inside Sebastian’s head but some sort of psychological infection passed down from generations. There’s also the recurring motif of Palahniuk breaking the fourth wall to show himself workshopping the story with Portland writers like Lidia Yuknavitch, Monica Drake, and Chelsea Cain—the latter of whom will conduct a Q&A with Palahniuk before the screening.
Now is an ideal time to revisit the questions raised by the first Fight Club—specifically, the white male’s shrinking role as breadwinner in our consumerist culture, and the stultifying limitations of physical violence—and perhaps those issues will be addressed at the screening’s Q&A. But on its own, Fight Club 2 is more of a wacky romp and less the rite of passage that its predecessor was. And what’s the point of a rite of passage if you’re not going to leave it in the past?