Monday, June 3, 2019

SIFF 2019: 'The Art Of Self-Defense' Movie Review

jesse eisenberg in a dojo

In Riley Stearns’ dark comedy, The Art of Self-Defense, Jesse Eisenberg plays Casey, a milquetoast office drone with no social skills a no friends outside of his dachshund, joins an agro karate dojo to learn to defend himself and become what he fears.

[Read More: 11 Must-See Films at SIFF 2019]

A caricature of toxic masculinity that watches like a navelgazing, mumblecore Fight Club, Self-Defense uses zero subtlety as aesthetic affectation. Characters speak what sounds like stage notes read aloud. Frankly tedious in the early going, the film finds itself in the middle ground, only to whiff the landing. Partially becoming what it seeks to lampoon, it hopes a last-minute turn provides substance. SPOILER: It doesn’t.

[Read More: Check Out the Rest of Our SIFF 2019 Coverage Here]

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