There are no jokes in the trailer for The Art of Self Defense. No punchlines. No stupid people tripping over themselves. No goofy millennial phrases pulled off some retard’s Twitter account. No snappy quips nor sight gags designed to elicit gut-wrenching laughter. What we get instead is a trailer that prides itself on subtly building tension through an emotional impasse of intrigue and pity.
But you might be wondering how a movie trailer that doesn’t have jokes or gags manages to bask in dark humor? Well, we enter into the life of a pathetic, weak, defenseless young man named Casey played by Jesse Eisenberg. Case is tired of being the punching bag for everything in life that he believes is it out for him. It’s funny in a pathetic kind of way.
Casey’s solution to all of the ills that loom over every waking moment like a ominous yoke that weighs down his very being is to join a karate class, all in hopes of becoming the very thing that intimidates him.
You can check out the trailer below courtesy of Movie Trailers Source.
The minute long trailer doesn’t spend much time trying to give much of anything away, instead it seeds the pitiable life of Casey into something darker.
While at first it seems like a movie about a guy learning karate to get back at the bullies and woeful forces within his life that makes him miserable, but the trailer quickly hints at something more foreboding awaiting Casey.
Visually the film is very dark, tonally subdued, and cut with a lot of tight shots, presumably so that viewers feel as claustrophobic and as helplessly intimidated as Casey. But then we get glimpses of dead bodies, street fights, and Casey wielding a 9mm Beretta.
Basically, it’s impossible to tell exactly how this film will turn out, but what started off with what seemed like some kind of a typical nerd-gets-revenge trope seems to house a far more insidious plot than what it first lets on. From the little glimpses that we’re given I can’t help but feel like the film may draw parallels to other indie off-kilter films like Punch Drunk Love and Drive.
The Art of Self Defense is due out in theaters soon. It’s hard to tell if the movie will contain any Hollywood Left-wing subversion, but it didn’t seem like it based on the minute long trailer.