The Art of Self-Defense
If you took all the fun and the Miyagi-Do rivalry out of Cobra Kai, threw in a slow kid's ass-backward understanding of what Fight Club was getting at, mixed in a generous helping of Napoleon Dynamite ultra-self-conscious geekiness, a couple of Monster energy drinks and some protein powder, tossed it all in a blender and hit the chop-socky button, you'd end up with the glass of grimy goo that is The Art of Self-Defense.
My buddy (not my cousin) Vinny recommended this flick to me, which shows to go you that ol' Cinemavenger means it when he says that he happily takes requests. Knowing that Vinny's taste in movies runs more to Gummo than Top Gun, and given the fact that The Art of Self-Defense does manage a few chuckle-out-loud moments, I haven't scheduled a cinemintervention for my pal. Not yet, at least.
Those two or three inspired moments aside, The Art of Self-Defense can eat a heavy bag full of dicks. I'd rather take an axe kick to the dick than be lectured to - badly - on the dangers of toxic masculinity by a movie that has a harder time holding a thought in its head than the worst CTE-addled palooka.
The "hero" of this dickless delirium is a 35-year-old accountant who, from the looks of it, is pretty far down the dysfunctional end of the autism spectrum. Casey (Jesse "'s Girl" Eisenberg) is a scared of his own shadow, socially retarded loser who gets mugged and beaten by some random assholes on motorcycles. Not a motorcycle gang, just random assholes who happen to be on motorcycles while Casey, for no fucking reason at all, is walking down the middle of a street instead of on the sidewalk clearly pictured in the background.
While waiting out the waiting period for the pistol he wants to buy for self-defense, Casey wanders into a karate dojo run by an obviously unhinged fuckwad. Even before we find out that the guy hates women and thinks that being a "real man" means listening only to heavy metal and having a butch dog, we already know he's the most prolapsed of anuses because he only goes by Sensei.
Will Casey figure out he's being had, or will he drink the testosterboner Kool-Aid. Trust me, you couldn't give less of a kung fuck.
May 14, 2021