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Watch The Art of Self-Defense
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The film starts in a diner where skinny and geeky Casey Davies (Jesse Eisenberg) is eating alone. A French couple enters and sits down not far from him. In their own language, they play a 'game' where they imagine what kind of person Casey is. He gets in his car and plays a tape for learning to speak French, and the phrase he learns is one pleading in French to not be hurt because he is a tourist.
Casey works as an accountant. He tries to talk to three co-workers in the break room, but he comes off as awkward. When the guys learn that Casey audits their expenses, they tell him to get lost. He also lives at home with nobody but his little dachshund. He sees that the dog is out of food. On his way to the pet store to buy food, he is approached by two men on a motorcycle, with one of them asking if he has a gun. Casey later walks home with the food when the men on the motorcycle, plus a few other assailants, start chasing him before they catch and beat him unconscious.
Casey wakes up in the hospital after his mugging and is told by his boss Grant (Hauke Bahr) that he can take as much time off as he needs. Casey becomes fearful for his life, and after watching a gangster movie, he feels compelled to buy a gun. He goes to a gun store and tries to ask for a handgun, and is told that he must go through the background check and waiting period before he can actually get it.