Movie Review: The Art of Self-Defense

Riley Stearns directs this film, and it stars Jesse Eisenberg, Alessandro Nivola, Imogen Poots, Steve Terada, Phillip Andre Botello, David Zellner, and Jason Burkey.

Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) is a shy, reserved man who continually gets bullied. One night he gets attacked, and he decides to learn karate as a form of self-defense.

I first saw this trailer, and it caught my attention with their dry humor. Then I saw it was critically acclaim, so I went to watch it. Boy was I pleasantly surprised with this film. Many moviegoers complain that there aren’t enough original films, well here is one! I had a blast with the whole movie! Its dark and dry humor (which is slowly but surely becoming my thing) and its presentation of masculinity in a karate setting worked very well for me. While watching this film, I was wondering where this story was leading to, and then the third act happened, and boy was I not expecting what I saw. The dry/dark humor is my type of fun and similar to The Dead Don’t Die; I may have enjoyed this film a bit more than most people. The story was great and the acting was well done. Eisenberg’s acting is excellent, and Nivola manages to seduce me without even trying. In my screening, only six people saw this film, and I was the only woman in there. Ironically we somehow recreated the film itself (since there is only one woman in the movie) and as expected there are some jokes about women that I wasn’t particularly fond of, but all of my fellow movie-going audience did enjoy. This movie was a blast to watch, and I’d strongly recommend seeing this film if you’re seeking an original movie.
I give this film a 9.5 out of 10


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