The Art of Self-Defense (2018)
July 20, 2019 12:59 PM - Subscribe

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.
posted by julthumbscrew (4 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
This was such an unexpected delight - hysterically funny, defiantly absurd, and black as hell. Reminded me a bit of Sorry To Bother You, my favorite film of last year.
posted by julthumbscrew at 1:00 PM on July 20, 2019 [2 favorites]

I'm finally making it out to see this tonight. Hope I like it as much as you did.
posted by roue at 3:21 PM on July 26, 2019

I didn't care for it as much. It was funny at parts, especially the first third or so. But it lost my sympathy when it got to the ultraviolence, and when Casey joins in he ceases to be a sympathetic character. I think it's trying to be a dark comedy, but doesn't work as well because the dark parts aren't comic and the comic parts aren't dark. (With the exception of the climactic scene. I saw the result of that confrontation coming a mile a way, but it was still satisfyingly funny.) You can't just make a dark comedy just by mashing together dark bits and comic bits in the same movie.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 3:50 AM on August 8, 2019

I just saw this last night and enjoyed it immensely. A bit of an overlooked gem it seems and certainly the best 2019 film I've seen (though I haven't seen much this year so YMMV).

Excellent humor, great use of excessive violence (not that much, just in the appropriate places, this isn't John Wick!). Really loved it.
posted by Kosmob0t at 3:50 AM on November 8, 2019

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