The Art of Self-Defense Review & Discussion: 105 Minute Lecture On Masculinity

There is a war on men and Hollywood is a battlefield.

When you hear the term “Toxic Masculinity”, you tend to ask, what is that? The problem is the people who created the term ‘Toxic Masculinity’ haven’t agreed on what the answer is yet because they haven’t found a way to sell the idea that masculinity is bad to the public in a way that the public wouldn’t see through it as an outright attack on men, much like feminism. However, whenever they decide to put a shiny silver bow on the term, make no mistake, Toxic Masculinity is 100% an attack on men and everything that makes men what they are.

Bleecker Street

But hey, don’t take MY word for it, listen to Patrick Cavanaugh of The Wolfman Cometh who wrote a Rotten Tomatoes fresh review of the film The Art of Self-Defense starring Jessie Eisenberg. In the opening rant about the film, he lays his case against masculinity very strongly.

Few things are as awful in the world right now (and, I guess, throughout all of history) than entitled and toxic men. You’re probably thinking, “Wait a minute, Wolfman…aren’t YOU kind of a man?” Well, you’re sort of right! Regardless of my masculinity (or crippling lack thereof), our current cultural climate is seeing our society completely tear down previously held beliefs about what it means to be a “man” and, not only redefine that gender construct, but also establish that there’s a lot more that defines a person than what is between their legs.

Cavanaugh lays it out as clear as day, the objective is to destroy what it means to be a man and replace is a “new, progressive, gender construct” version of what a “man” is. With that context in mind, not only do you understand why this film has received so many glowing reviews but you also understand the political endgame that comes from the minds of Progressives and their propaganda arm known as Hollywood.

Bleecker Street

The Art of Self-Defense is a story about a pathetic loser named Casey Davies. One night, Casey is beaten and robbed by a group of macho biker men in brutal fashion. Davies decides to take self-defense into his own hands and joins a Karate dojo in an attempt to learn what it’s like to be a man…in his 30s.

Let’s cut to the chase, the film is a takedown of men and what it means to be a man…in the eyes of progressive Marxists. Much like the film Stuber, this film is a social commentary of masculinity by Beta males who have never known what it has meant to be a real man themselves. It’s the political equivalent of a Communist who hates “the rich” because they themselves have never experienced what it is like to be successful, but they believe they have an understanding of why the system doesn’t work for them. An outsider’s view of masculinity becomes a surface level argument of “oh, in order to be a ‘man’ I must like guns, boobs, and lifting weights…so if I criticize these things and switch the gender roles between a man and a woman, I’m creating a ‘smart’ satire on men in general”.

Bleecker Street

This film is the cinematic version of A Pimp Named Slickback as you are watching an intelligent display of ignorance masquerading as actual intelligence. But because the film is attacking surface level meanings of masculinity, it is garnering massive praise from the film press who all want you to know, the film is great because…it attacks “Toxic Masculinity”.

Don’t believe me???

Entertainment Weekly – The Art of Self-Defense could have a lot to say about modern loneliness and toxic masculinity, ideas that writer-director Riley Stearn largely decides to deliver as bone-dry, blunt-force satire.

The Movie Cricket – Stearns has created a grittier, less internalized version of “Fight Club” – a red-knuckled examination of masculinity taken to its toxic extremes.

Birth.Movies.Death. – Writer-director Riley Stearns has lovingly crafted an exquisitely absurd satire of toxic masculinity.

The Victoria Advocate – This dark and twisted comedy from Riley Stearns should be required viewing for Social Studies students, the topic How Toxic-Masculinity is detrimental to society.

Backseat Mafia – A darkly comedic and bitingly irreverent take on toxic masculinity and modern American culture.

Popdust – The Art of Self-Defense definitely makes a point about mistaking toxic masculinity for empowerment.

Vanity Fair – A strange, uneven, but ultimately effective satire of masculinity.

The Daily Beast – The Art of Self-Defense is a ridiculously scathing satire that refuses to go easy on men’s warped notions about masculinity.

Reeling Reviews – Writer/director Riley Stearns’s pitch black comedy is like a feminist take on “Fight Club” had “Fight Club” been addressing toxic masculinity…Jesse Eisenberg’s best role since “The Social Network…”

Splice Today – A fascinating, funny, and very timely satire of masculinity

Pajiba – The Art of Self-Defense offers an assured, cohesive vision of a world where hyper-masculinity is a dangerous and appealing cure for fear – a world that is both laughably absurd and frighteningly vicious.

The Hollywood Outsider – Veering between uproariously comical and hypnotically unnerving, Jesse Eisenberg and Alessandro Nivola dominate the screen in a hilarious middle finger to toxic masculinity.

Bleecker Street

So let’s not beat around the bush here, if you are raging feminist or a beta male who is trying to impress the raging feminist, well this might be the best film of 2019…for you. For those who don’t care to waste your time and money on a progressive lecture about how men are destroying society, this is a clear pass and seeing how this film has only made $100,000 at the time of this writing, you probably agree with me, just saying.





Don’t forget to Subscribe for Updates. Also, Follow Us at Society-ReviewsYouTubeInstagramTwitterOdyseeTwitch, & Letterboxd

Leave a Reply