“I have sex with strangers because I’m incapable of doing it with someone I actually like. I can’t even ask anyone out on a date because if it doesn’t end up in a high speed chase, I get bored.”Victor Mancini
Although Fight Club became an enduring success on home video (notwithstanding its misguided adoption by incels), to date Choke is the only other Chuck Palahniuk novel to be made into a film, and it’s safe to say it has not reached a similar status. In many ways Choke exemplifies the difficulty in adapting modern literature to the screen, where so much relies on knowledge of the characters’ perspectives, mental states, and thought processes. This often results in the lazy crutch of voice overs. Our inability to connect with the characters is no fault of the actors — all the leads are good — but rather a rapidly-paced script that never allows us the time to understand these individuals in more than the cynical overtones that drive the narrative and satire. Writer/director Clark Gregg is able deftly to shift tone between sombre and comedic without it feeling jarring, and Choke fully commits to both its cynicism and raunchiness. This provides the viewer with something to enjoy, even if the film struggles to elicit an emotional reaction.