Warning: If you are reading this then this warning is for you. Every word you read of this
useless fine print is another second off your life. Don't you have other things to do?
Is your life so empty that you honestly can't think of a better way to spend
The narrator (Edward Norton) is a nameless automobile company employee who travels to accident sites for the purposes of calculating whether or not to issue product recalls based on the likely cost of lawsuits that would be incurred otherwise. His doctor refuses to write a prescription for his insomnia, and instead recommends that he visits a support group for testicular cancer sufferers to appreciate real suffering. The narrator attends the group and is able to find catharsis, sleeping soundly without a problem. Meanwhile, the narrator's routine is again disrupted when he notices another person faking these illnesses (like himself), Marla Singer. Her presence at his support groups causes his insomnia to relapse.
During a flight for a business trip, the narrator meets Tyler Durden (Brad Pitt), a flamboyant soap salesman. When the narrator arrives home, he finds that his apartment has been destroyed by an explosion. He calls Tyler and meets him at a bar, where Tyler permits the narrator to stay at his place. Leaving the bar, Tyler asks the narrator to hit him. The narrator reluctantly complies, and the two end up enjoying a fist fight. The narrator moves in with Tyler at an abandoned house, and they fight again outside the bar. After attracting a crowd, they establish a 'fight club' in the bar's basement. Soon, more clubs spring up around the country. At one point, Marla overdoses on Xanax and is rescued by Tyler Durden. The two begin a sexual relationship, and Tyler forbids the narrator from talking to Marla or anyone else about him.
Eventually, Tyler's fight club becomes "Project Mayhem," which commits increasingly destructive acts of anti-corporate vandalism in the city. The fight clubs become a network for Project Mayhem, and the narrator is left out of Tyler's activities with the project, feeling disillusioned and disturbed about their actions. Tyler and the narrator have an argument and Tyler disappears from the narrator's life.
When a member of Project Mayhem, Bob, dies on a mission, the narrator decides to take action to shut down the project. He tries to trace Tyler's steps, traveling all over the country and feeling a sense of deja vu wherever he travels. He is disturbed to find that fight clubs have been started in every city and that he is recognized everywhere he goes. To his shock, he is identified as Tyler Durden by one of the men he encounters. In panic, he calls Marla Singer, and asks her to say his name. When she responds "Tyler Durden," he realizes the truth; Tyler is an alter ego of his own split personaility. Tyler appears in his room and explains that he is in control of the narrator's body whenever he is asleep. The narrator faints, and later wakes to find phone calls made during his blackout. He tracks Tyler's plans to the downtown headquarters of several major credit card companies, which Tyler plans to destroy in order to cripple the consumerist financial system. Failing to find help with the police, many of whom are members of Project Mayhem themselves, the narrator attempts to disarm the explosives in the basement of one of the buildings. He is confronted by Tyler, knocked unconscious, and taken to the upper floor of another building to witness the impending destruction.
The narrator, held by Tyler at gunpoint, realizes that in sharing the same body with Tyler, he really holds the gun. He finds himself holding the gun and fires it into his mouth, shooting through the cheek without killing himself. The illusion of Tyler collapses, with an exit wound to the back of his head. Members of Project Mayhem, who still see the narrator as Tyler, bring Marla Singer to him and leave them alone, despite being shocked by his wound. Marla, who was warned to leave the city by the narrator, concernedly asks what happened. The narrator explains that he shot himself and tells her, "You met me at a very strange time in my life." They watch as the buildings explode in a collapsing skyline outside the windows, standing side-by-side and holding hands......
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