April 3, 2010
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Director: Peter Stebbings
Writers: Peter Stebbings
Producers: Nicholas Tabarrok
Starring: Woody Harrelson/Kat Dennings/Sandra Oh
BBFC Certification: 15
Duration: 101 minutes
A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city’s criminal underworld. It’s a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn’t understand and doesn’t belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero of his own making, Defendor. With no power other than courage Defendor takes to the streets to protect the city’s innocents. Defendor is a brilliant superhero movie and strays away from all the main superheroes like Spiderman and Superman and shows a more realistic side to them. The story is brilliantly written and the humour in the movie is dark yet funny. From start to finish you were taken on a journey through Arthur’s struggles of trying to find and capture the evil ‘Captain Industry’, his sworn enemy. The acting in the movie was brilliant and very convincing, especially Woody Harrelson who was truly fantastic as Arthur/Defendor. Another great performance was from the lovely Kat Dennings who plays Arthur’s prostitute friend Katerina. The characters were fantastically written, you felt how you were supposed to feel about them and you really cared for who you were supposed to care for. The character development is definitely there as you see the friendship between Arthur and Katerina grow and they learn about their lives from each other. Director and writer Peter Stebbings has done a terrific job of this dark comedy that contains a message for all to see.
When I first heard that Woody Harrelson was going to be in Defendor, I instantly knew I had to watch it as soon as I could and I’m so glad I did because it’s not one that I regret seeing. I thought the story was so charming and innocent as you see Arthur Poppington fixated only on trying to defeat crime and trying to capture the man responsible for the city’s crimes and his mother’s death. He only sees right and wrong and knows that he has to protect the good guys and defeat the bad guys. Also a great thing to see was the friendship growing between Katerina and Arthur as Katerina learns a lot about herself and reflects on her life choices because of him and they both supported each other when they needed help and that, to me, was a brilliant thing to watch. I also liked how the writer didn’t go deeper on the subject of Arthur’s mental challenges and left the story simple as the character behaving child-like and innocent. I also liked how Arthur put on a gruff and mysterious voice when he was Defendor, much like Batman, I thought that added comic value.
Overall, I very much enjoyed it and it made a refreshing change to the usual superhero movies you see today as this took a more realistic approach. At the start of the movie, it’s light and funny but as the movie continues, it gradually turns into a dark dramatic comedy which isn’t a bad thing. A very enjoyable movie and Woody Harrelson and comic fans will not be disappointed. Woody Harrelson shines throughout this movie as Defendor and really makes you believe his character.