Whether Tyler Durden is a hero, a villain, or neither, remains a debated topic.
There’s a threshold of straight-up evil the movie version of Tyler never crosses. For instance, he makes sure buildings are 100 percent unoccupied before he blows them up — a precaution that the novel’s version of Tyler, incidentally, does not bother taking.
In what’s probably the best example of Tyler as a malicious force for the perceived greater good, he threatens to execute Raymond J. Hassel (Joon Kim) — a convenience store clerk — unless Raymond quits his pointless minimum wage job and goes back to veterinary school. This is, in Tyler’s words, a “human sacrifice.”
Essentially, Tyler’s reminding a random stranger that he can be killed at any time, so he shouldn’t waste his life. It’s a nice thing that Tyler does! A terrifying, very illegal, and highly ill-advised nice thing!
Raymond is the only human sacrifice the audience ever sees. However, when The Narrator scrambles around in a futile attempt to prevent Tyler’s controlled mass-demolition, we see Tyler’s bedroom door is completely covered with driver’s licenses used to keep track of additional human sacrifices.
That right there is a lot of folks Tyler Durden is directly responsible for sending back to college — because thanks to him, they’ll die if they don’t. So, um …. hurray?