After he’s attacked on the street at night by a roving motorcycle gang, timid bookkeeper Casey (Jesse Eisenberg) joins a neighborhood karate studio to learn how to protect himself. Under the watchful eye of a charismatic instructor, Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), and hardcore brown belt Anna (Imogen Poots), Casey gains a newfound sense of confidence for the first time in his life. But when he attends Sensei’s mysterious night classes, he discovers a sinister world of fraternity, brutality and hyper-masculinity, presenting a journey that places him squarely in the sights of his enigmatic new mentor.
The Art of Self-Defense is a roller coaster of emotions. They throw a lot into this movie, from drama to comedy, to surrealism; it is a ride worth taking.
The acting was superb all the way around, but Jesse Eisenberg shines the most with his transformations in the film.
The visuals were pretty good, the comedy was on point at every turn, and it never missed a beat. The story was easy to follow and engaging, with a new twist on an old subject of beaten down person learning to defend themselves.
I give ‘The Art of Self-Defense’ a 5/5.