The Art of Self-Defense is one of the funniest films I have seen in quite some time. We have an instant classic with this offbeat and dark comedy that raises questions we don’t ask enough. At the beginning of the film, we are introduced to the dull lifestyle of Casey (Eisenberg), an accountant whose best friend is his dachshund. Casey is walking home with dog food one night, when he is attacked by multiple motorcycle riders. After that incident, Casey stumbles upon a hole in the wall dojo run by a very strange man who demands to always be called Sensei (Nivola). Casey starts taking classes and learns way more than he signed up for.
I haven’t been able to stop thinking about how damn funny this film is. Riley Stearns uses comedy to poke at how toxic traditional masculinity is. The film may not totally solve anything in that regard, but that’s sort of the point. It’s a toxic society, so let’s make fun of it! Eisenberg shines so bright when he is in the right role, and this is one of them. I think we will be talking about how original and hilarious Alessandro Nivola’s performance was for a long time. Please go see this or check it out when it hits streaming services. Your stomach will hurt from laughter!