Sunday, May 2, 2010

Defendor: Review

So okay. With the success of superhero parodies like Kick-Ass, I'd thought I'd go back a few months and review a movie I saw last year that was kind of in the same veins as Kick-Ass but a whole lot more grounded in reality. And the movie's called Defendor by the way.
Defendor is about Arthur Poppington played by Woody Harrelson i.e Twinkie Dude from Zombieland, who is this mentally unstable man but with a heart of gold who comes to believe that he is a superhero named Defendor. Every night, he patrols the streets of his city in search of his arch enemy, Captain Industry; whom he was told is the man behind his mother's death. And along the way, this retarded, sweet guy touches the lives of a young prostitute, his psychiatrist, a crime journalist and his boss.
On the surface, Defendor appears to be very much like the retarded awesomeness of Kick-Ass. And the film does have some really funny comedic moments courtesy of Woody Harrelson and his unconventional methods of vigilantism, be it torturing a bad guy with lime juice, having super hearing abilities through a plastic cone or using marbles for bullets; Defendor is more on the heart and child like innocence of Woody Harrelson's character.
And while I do stand by saying that Woody Harrelson's performance in The Messenger was his best performance to date, his acting in this movie isn't any short of brilliance. If I was to describe Defendor, I would say that he is Forrest Gump meets Batman. We have a superhero who has the mental capacity of a 7 year old, but with that comes a child simple sense of right and wrong. And that is where this character stands out in superhero context.

Woody blew my mind in this. At first I was looking at this character and going this guy's got issues. And I'm all like, "Dude... what the hell are you doing man?" But by the end of the film I was really moved by this character. Woody Harrelson captures the imagination and perspective on the world of a child who is simply honest in every action that he takes. If anything else, you got to watch this just for Woody Harrelson's character alone.
But there were some other great acting in this, one being Kat Dennings who serves as the window for the audience into the character Defendor. She starts out just like us being a little skeptical on this man's mental state but the character slowly grows on her and the audience as the movie progresses. I've always found Kat Dennings super annoying and whiny but it some how works for her character in this movie.
Plus she is just super sexy. Like a Dita von Teese kind you know.
Other honorable mentions, Elias Koteas who plays the bad guy of the film. This dude is so sleazy, bad ass and corrupt but he is so fun to watch because he knows he is all these things and is just having fun with it. For some really weird reason he reminded me of Claude Raines from Casablanca. Sandra Oh is good in this to, thought her character is kinda peppered out through the film only as a transitional segment between two scenes in the first two acts.
Very character driven film, honest and pure at it's heart and has loads of laugh out loud moments. Now, if only they made another film with Defendor meeting Hit Girl from Kick-Ass and all the bloody madness begins. Now that's a fucking movie!

RATING: 8/10

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