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 Art of Self-Defense
I went in expecting mumblecore, but got more of a Wes Anderson (which, to be fair, a primary influence of mumblecore). Wes Anderson almost always has violence in his movies, but probably nothing so brutal as _The Art of Self-Defense_. I thought that the whole movie would essentially be setting up Eisenberg as an awkward, meek nerd, who at the very end would go uber-violent, and the joke that they bothered to make a movie for would essentially be "You didn't think this guy would punch very good but then he does". Happy to say, I was wrong. Not only does Eisenberg punch pretty good on actually more than one occasion, there's also a story in _The Art of Self-Defense_ as well, which I was not expecting. Now I still didn't think it was very good, and I definitely didn't think it was very funny, but my very low expectations were exceeded, so in the end I'm actually moderately happy with this one.
_Final rating:★★½ - Had a lot that appealed to me, didn’t quite work as a whole._
It Had Me For A While
There were moments of The Art of Self-Defense that had me rolling. Unfortunately, as the film progresses, it starts to lose the mojo and really just limped to the finish line. Performance wise, Eisenberg and Nivola really own it. The film just gets a little too silly for my liking.