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The Art of Self-Defense (2019)

R | | Comedy | 21 June 2019 (USA)
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1:18 | Trailer

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Release Date: June 21

A man who 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.

Director:

Riley Stearns

Writer:

Riley Stearns
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Cast

Credited cast:
Jesse Eisenberg ... Casey
Alessandro Nivola ... Sensei
Imogen Poots ... Anna
Steve Terada ... Thomas
Phillip Andre Botello ... Kennith
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Caroline Amiguet ... French Audio Instructor (voice)
Apollo Bacala Apollo Bacala ... Karate Day Class Student
Jason Burkey ... Alex
Justin Eaton ... Lone Man
Dallas Edwards ... Manny
Will Ellis Jr. Will Ellis Jr. ... Night Class Student
Josh Fadem ... Serial Killer
John French ... Office Worker
Darren Gaebel Darren Gaebel ... Karate Night Class Student
Scott Goodman Scott Goodman ... Drunk Skinny Guy
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Storyline

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. Written by Obscured Pictures

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence, sexual content, graphic nudity and language
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

21 June 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Искусство самозащиты See more »

Filming Locations:

Louisville, Kentucky, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

End Cue See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This movie was shot in Kentucky See more »

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User Reviews

A handful of funny movements but ultimately preachy and forced
20 March 2019 | by random-70778See all my reviews

If somehow, in 2019, you still feel like you still need a moralizing lesson in the pitfalls of toxic masculinity, and are willing to sit though a mediocre meditation on it, this film is for you.

The audience at south by Southwest left about 1/3 smiling and 2/3 of the audience looked just bored. My guess is the 1/3 are perpetual victims who felt validated at the idea of standing up being per se toxic, and the 2/3 are simply not victims and don't need a film to rationalize continual victim-hood.

Sure, there were some funny moments, about four in the hour and a half, but the dark humor that comprised the utterly predictable last half of the was completely without irony and in the end, just meaningless.

Yes, a person who has been constantly victimized, in learning to stand up for themselves can conceivably go over the top. OK But the film seems to try to imply that is somehow inevitable or common, when it is rare, in order to preach a social message. Newsflash, it is 2019 and this old message is, well, old.


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