'The Art Of Self-Defense' Trailer: Jesse Eisenberg Wants To Protect Himself Against A Dangerous World — And Get Some Fitness

Everyone muses about signing up for a self-defense class at one point or another, but when Jesse Eisenberg's terrified young man does in The Art of Self-Defense, he gets a little more than he bargained for. The black comedy that made waves at SXSW has a new trailer, and it gives us another glimpse at what happens when Eisenberg's timid young man buys into the toxic masculinity of karate class. Watch the new The Art of Self-Defense trailer below.

The Art of Self-Defense Trailer

Jesse Eisenberg stars as a nervous man named Casey Davies, who signs up for a karate class after being mugged, "falling more and more in his paranoia in the process." The film has been described as Fight Club remade by the Coen Brothers, which is certainly tantalizing — deconstruction of toxic masculinity through a black comedy lens? Sign me up.

The Art of Self-Defense debuted to rave reviews at SXSW, including from /Film reviewer Meredith Borders, who wrote in her 10/10 review, "The Art of Self-Defense skates such a tricky balance between important and absurd, meaningful and fun. The film has a lot to say but says it all in the weirdest, funniest, most surprising way possible." /Film's Jacob Hall also had high praise for The Art of Self-Defense, describing how the film explores "how impressionable men are seduced into toxic communities, how good people are transformed into monsters because they need to feel powerful and respected. It's the dry, pitch-black comedy 2019 deserves."

Written and directed by Riley Stearns whose previous film Faults also made a splash at SXSW, The Art of Self-Defense also stars Alessandro Nivola and Imogen Poots.

Here is the synopsis for The Art of Self-Defense:

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. Audacious and offbeat, The Art of Self-Defense is an original dark comedy that takes toxic masculinity to absurd extremes.

The Art of Self-Defense opens July 12, 2019.