The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

Jesse Eisenberg's awkwardness takes a violent turn



United States of America
English, French, German
Action, Comedy, Drama, Thriller
Alessandro Nivola, Apollo Bacala, Caroline Amiguet
104 min

What it's about

Casey is attacked at random on the street and enlists in a local dojo led by a charismatic and mysterious Sensei in an effort to learn how to defend himself. What he uncovers is a sinister world of fraternity, violence and hypermasculinity and a woman fighting for her place in it.

The take

Watch this if you like weird movies. And don't be fooled by the first half, which serves just to set Jesse Eisenberg's character and the monotone life he leads. It's the calm before the storm, during which that character is attacked by a violent gang and decides to take self-defense classes in an unusual club. This is a movie about modern manhood and how it can lead to some pretty strange situations. Great performance from Eisenberg as usual.


Ok… So I guess my humour is different than most because I found this truly funny comedy. I haven’t laughed this much in a while.

And sure it’s dark, but it’s clearly over the top so as the viewer you can’t take it seriously.

The only issue I have with it is pacing. There are certain parts of the film which feel uncomfortably long.

Even the ending scene (looking at the backdrop) such a contrast to the one before .. hilarious.

This is a dark comedy, and Jesse Eisenberg takes it to the top. I love him even more as he finally expresses his masculinity, which is a wondrous thing for both men and women! That dog omg that cute little dog!!!

I have mixed feelings about this movie. The characters are meant to be funny but the story itself is not.

I loved this movie, not because it was funny but I found it captivating.

not the comedy at all…

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