We have a new trailer for the upcoming comedy The Art of Self-Defense. This is one that perhaps hasn't made it onto everyone's radar just yet, given that we're just getting started with the blockbuster summer movie season and there are lots of big, flashy movies making their way to theaters right now. That said, there are also plenty of offerings for the indie crowd that shouldn't be ignored and this very much falls squarely into that category. This latest trailer offers a very well-rounded look as to why that's the case.
Jesse Eisenberg stars as the movie's quirky lead character, who is at the heart of the trailer. It's clear that this man fears much of the world around him and is doing what he can to better arm himself to exist in this cruel world. Instead of just buying a gun, our main man decides to learn karate. Things get progressively strange and oddly violent as it rolls on. The movie is very much positioning itself as a comedy, but a very dark one. It takes some unexpected turns but, overall, provides us with a good look at what to expect.
This comes from director Riley Stearns and held its premiere earlier this year during SXSW in Austin, Texas. I was lucky enough to catch it during the festival and can confidently say this trailer adequately, in as much as it can without spoiling too much, sets a reasonable expectation for what's in store. That having been said, this movie really does go to some unexpected and bizarre places. While it may not be for everyone, those who are intrigued by the trailer should definitely try and fit it in alongside this year's other summer offerings.
The Art of Self Defense centers on Casey (Jesse Eisenberg), who is brutally attacked at random one night on a walk home. He then seeks help at a local dojo led by a charismatic yet mysterious Sensei (Alessandro Nivola), in order to learn how to defend himself in the future. Casey soon uncovers a sinister world within this dojo, latent with violence and masculinity, as well as a lone woman (Imogen Poots) fighting for her place within the hierarchy. He undertakes a journey that heads in unexpected directions and puts him on a path with his new Sensei.
Critics who have screened the movie so far have generally been quite kind, as it currently boasts a very solid 94 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Personally, I know this isn't one of those movies that will be for everyone, but I get the sense that those who do enjoy it are really going to enjoy it. We'll have an interview with the cast and director Riley Stearns coming your way a little closer to the release. In the meantime, be sure to check out the new trailer from the Bleecker Street YouTube channel below.