The Art Of Self-Defense
“Jesse Eisenberg plays a wimp whose desperate bid to man up compels him to join an off-kilter karate studio in this smart, machismo-critiquing cult comedy … dark, sinister, and disarmingly hilarious.” – Variety
Accountant Casey Evans believes he has a girl’s name and the persona to match. Overlooked by women and baffled by the macho antics of his workmates, Casey lives his life in a fog of disappointment and passivity. When he’s mugged while buying dog food, Casey decides enough is enough and he signs up to karate classes at his local dojo. Ruled over by a charismatic leader known only as Sensei, the dojo offers Casey a new-found confidence. But there’s a dark undercurrent to the Sensei’s methods, and the further Casey falls into the fold, the closer he comes to destruction.
A wry and withering take on toxic masculinity and the price we pay for pride, The Art of Self-Defense is the deeply accomplished sophomore effort from young gun writer/director Riley Stearns. An increasingly surreal parable of failed expectations and misplaced hope, it’s a cheerfully provocative triumph from one of American filmmaking’s most exciting new talents.
“The Art of Self-Defense feels like an instant offbeat comedy classic – one to be endlessly quoted and shared and revisited for years to come.” – Birth.Movies.Death