Defendor (2009) Poster

(2009)

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8/10
Fantastic
paul_haakonsen5 April 2010
Wow, this movie was awesome.

I sat down to watch this movie with no high expectations, and I was pleasantly surprised. Finally a "superhero" movie you can relate to, instead of everything being all high and mighty on morals and super powers.

"Defendor" had it all, comedy, action, drama and romance. What made this movie unique was the blend of genres which works really well. Initially I thought it was just a spoof of superhero movies, but "Defendor" is so much more than that.

The characters in the movie are real and believable. Hats off to Woody Harrelson for his marvelous performance as Arthur / Defendor. This role really showed off Woody's acting talents. I think we can all see parts of ourselves in the Defendor character, and that is what makes this movie so powerful, so gripping and so entertaining.

And also to Elias Koteas for his role as the corrupt policeman and Kat Denings as her role of a young woman in drug abuse and harsh life situation. And the supporting roles were nicely portrayed as well.

The story told in "Defendor" easily picks you up and keeps you tight. It is really good and you can place yourself in that story. It is very believable and leaves you very entertained.

I was thoroughly entertained from start till end. Lots of good action, really good and solid story, and spectacular acting. This is definitely a keeper, a movie with enough value to be watched more than once.
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8/10
Clever parody juxtaposed with intriguing self-reflexive darkness - an inspired revision of the superhero myth
pyrocitor12 September 2009
Given the recent onslaught of superhero films hitting theatres, it would seem only natural to anticipate parodic responses to the genre, sending up its excesses and sillier elements. On the surface, it would appear that debut director Peter Stebbings' Defendor is exactly such a film, casting Woody Harrelson's oddball everyman as a surrogate crimefighter and exploiting his antics for humour in the vein of 1999's Mystery Men. And initially this is the approach the film itself appears gearing up to take, opening with a hysterical spoofing of overblown superhero film clichés, including rooftop billowing fog, high contrast city lights against nighttime darkness, and larger than life acrobatic feats ("always check the garbage days" moans a wounded Defendor after leaping off a rooftop into a dumpster recently emptied of garbage to cushion his fall). Such astute genre awareness combined with the wonderfully imaginative collection of Defendor's makeshift crimefighting weapons (including the most inspired use of marbles seen in ages) could easily have assured for an hour and a half of lighthearted, enjoyable cinematic fun.

But Stebbings' film has grander ambitions than a mere surface level parody, which subtly unfold as the film progresses. As the laughs slowly become fewer and fewer, Defendor's narrative becomes steadily more engrossing, settling on a tone pitched halfway between exhilarating crime/mystery thriller and poignant character study, as the viewer is led increasingly to question Defendor's mental stability, and even the ethics of his imbalanced war against injustice. While such transitioning between tones could prove a dangerous stumbling ground, Stebbings is careful to distinguish between his darker themes and moments of levity, utilizing dashes of all too real violence to savagely undercut the fantasy or parodic elements. For all Defendor's silliness, it certainly packs a brutal punch when necessary.

Of course, being the work of a first time director, one would expect the occasional fumble, and Stebbings' film does lose its way for a period nearing the climax, meandering somewhat and losing its rhythm. Nonetheless, an emerging subplot musing on the roots and importance of heroism (clearly borrowing amply from Christopher Nolan's recent two Batman reboots among other sources) which could have been the clumsiest addition to the movie actually emerges as surprisingly tasteful and functional, adding more nuance and complexity to the unfolding film without coming across as excessively pretentious. Completing the package is the wonderfully grandiose musical score by John Rowley, managing to perfectly encompass each tonal shift, whether gleefully riffing on superhero musical motifs or offering something more profound and honest, either way adding welcome depth and volume to a film already far from lacking in either.

The casting of Woody Harrelson as the titular hapless crimefighter also proves a stroke of genius, as Harrelson's naturally wacky yet powerful charisma exemplifies the essence of the film, beautifully blending child-like emotional simplicity, tenacious determination and enough flat out weirdness to make it all ring true, as well as an inspired ripoff of Christian Bale's now iconic Batman voice. Kat Dennings is equally delightful to watch as a young prostitute who may be either befriending or manipulating Defendor, warping her naturally quirky and spunky energy into something darker, yet just as resonant. Elias Koteas essays antagonistic clichés with the utmost grotesque skill as a crooked cop, and Michael Kelly reconciles a weakly written role with a gruff credibility as Defendor's employer and solitary friend. Finally, Sandra Oh is superb in her few scenes as Defendor's psychological examiner, infusing impressive dramatic tension with moments of deadpan humour, and bringing welcome life to the film.

It would be easy to compare Defendor as a film to its protagonist: slightly cumbersome and prone to stumbling at times, yet cleverly self-aware, comical yet with layers of unexpected darkness, and overall encompassed by such an infectious sense of classic, cheesy charm that it is near impossible not to love in the end. Whether taken as a superhero parody, straight out superhero film or character study (or ultimately all three), Defendor proves a highly enjoyable success, and one easily worth a watch.

-7.5/10
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10/10
Defendor YES
duff-579-2206925 March 2010
The only reason I can think of why a person would give this movie a bad review is that it wasn't the movie they expected. I liked it from the first minute to the last, and I didn't know what to expect. I can't think of a single flaw in this very low budget film, so in comparison to some of the disappointing big popular movies out there that have expensive visible flaws, I give Defendor a big YES. Woody did a very good job on this film. I can see by his performance that he enjoyed making it and I enjoyed watching him.

I was disappointed in Woody Harrelson's previous acting in the "2012" monstrous mess where he painfully overacted and seemed to be telling the audience that it was all a bad joke. Defendor made up for that.

Woody proved that you don't have to have expensive green-screen special effects to make a good movie. It can be done with acting talent. Thank you Woody!

Relax your mind, see the movie, let yourself enjoy it.
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9/10
Brilliant
nightcity22 March 2010
One of the best movies I have seen this decade, funny, touching and clever. It would have totally passed me by if someone hadn't recommended it, which is a shame as it's an excellent film.

Acting, music score, writing all come together really well. Thank you Woody for another great movie.

I would really recommend this film to anyone even if the "superhero genre" is not your thing, since that is only tertiary to the theme anyway.

I look forward to seeing more from Peter Stebbings.

I can only hope that "Kick Ass" is half as good as Defendor.
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8/10
Surprise! This is a great movie!
dennispublic21 April 2010
Wow, that was surprising.

I stumbled across this film by accident, I saw that Woody was in it so decided to give it a try. I wasn't expecting much because I had never heard of it. But I was very pleasantly surprised.

This movie is great! "Defendor" is very funny, yet has a real story, and will get you emotionally involved when your not laughing your butt off. You pretty much can't go wrong here. Most importantly it was all thrown together beautifully, hats off to the writers and director. Every actor did a great job as well, but Woody stole the show, he deserves an award for this - he nailed the roll and then some. 110%. Well done.

This movie is underrated!
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9/10
Great movie!
tka_is30 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
A tragic action-adventure film about a mentally challenged man who works as a traffic sign holder by day, but who becomes Defendor by night. Armed with his club, marbles, firecrackers, and angry hornets, Defendor emerges from his secret hideout, helping others and stopping punks, in his effort to find Capitan Industry and bring him down. His exploits pique the interests of a girl, a family, and eventually a whole town. By his youthful wisdom, determined and fearless bravery, he gains many admirers who voice support for his cause.

If you're looking for a little adventure or a touching story, take the time to watch Defendor, A very enjoyable movie with great lessons. Don't pass it up!
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7/10
A Don Quixote for our times
Muttines22 March 2010
This was a rather enjoyable and strangely touching action caper, with moments of genuine depth and truth.

Woody Harrelson proves once again that he's an incredibly versatile and emotionally astute actor, with an arresting performance that carries the story along with remarkable zeal and fun. And while the plot and direction skirt close to sentimentalism towards the end, Harrelson executes the last few scenes in a manner so as not to spoil the quirky edge of the film.

Another angle that I found particularly enjoyable were the deferred references to Don Quixote - if you've read Cervantes's hilarious Rennaissance series you'll no doubt notice uncanny similarities that suggest homage: In lieu of the outlandish chivalric tales that madden Don Quixote and compel him to forge his own suit of armour and 'sally forth' into the wilds of quiet old La Mancha, we have 'Defendor', who similarly loses what few wits he has to begin with by obsessively reading comic books and deciding to become a superhero in an anonymous post-industrial slum. Sancho Panza is replaced by a saner but similarly pliant crack-addict, Kat, and Rosindante is supplanted by his 'defendog' mobile.

There are other similarities the movie has with D. Quixote, but to mention those would give the game away. It will suffice to say, however, that the film is quite highly recommended by this viewer, if not just for the joy of seeing Don Quixote once again take to the streets in all his glory.
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7/10
Defendor: Not what you're expecting
stefan-humphrey14 April 2010
While at first I thought it was a comedy, I was soon proved wrong. I like Woody Harrelson for his comedic value, this pushed his acting skills in a newer direction. While still maintaining a comedic overtone it settled into a serious note that is very seldom seen in most newer movies. It's not big on special effects or huge explosions, but the movie its self makes up for all that for being big on heart and able to touch feelings that haven't been touched in a while.All in all I'd say Woody Harrleson doesn't deserve an Oscar for his performance(while it was quite memorable), the movie does deserve an honorable mention at as many award shows as possible!
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9/10
C'mon, make like a rocket. Take off.
crenshaw_12320 March 2010
Probably the best movie so far, this year. And it would have dodged my radar completely if my friend wouldn't have recommended it to me.

So here's me, recommending it to you.

It's a dark comedy, which will make you laugh, no doubt. But it's comedy saturated with a sad story about this great guy that escapes his ordinary life by turning into this Defendor character. Someone who's not afraid. Allegedly a thousand times better than the guy without the mask. And together they'll make you love this movie.

It actually reminded me a lot of "Reign Over Me" with Adam Sandler. Which is also very good.

If you're in the mood for a drama that'll captivate you, but won't rip your heart out, like Million Dollar Baby might have or most certainly will. This is what you're looking for.

Thank you, Woody!
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9/10
deserves to be seen
tamrawillett24 February 2016
Touching, funny, charming, heart-breaking, optimistic--and so little known. This film is on my special list--the one with the films and books that if folks like 'em, I know I'll like the folks. (Since you asked, another such movie is Australia's "The Castle." And, since you asked, one of the books is "Cloud Atlas" by David Mitchell) A wonderful example of a well-acted film.

Haven't written a review for a long time, and when I tried to post it learned the minimum length is 10 lines of text. More words do not indicate a better composition--I should know, I taught English Comp at university.

Okay--long enough now.
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8/10
Amazing performance of Woody Harrelson
judithlpz24 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Defendor is a movie that describes a simple history in a very dark way, the marketing of the movie is wrong because present Defendor as a comic movie when truly it is not; here we have a sad history when almost immediately we know that by the end not all will be happiness.

Here we have a very good casting and a movie done with a good cinematography and with details which will be difficult realize that Defendor really had a very small budget.

Peter Stebbings did a very good job here his first chance as director and probably his only fail was in the history of his main character leaving him without any chance of success because it is remarkable that Arthur-Defendor had a lot of disadvantages.

Mention apart deserves Woody Harrelson, again he prove that currently nobody better than him for create characters with a range of emotions, he got the perfect balance between strength and sensibility and in each look (helped maybe for his intense blue eyes) shows intense tenacity and tenderness, in my opinion here he is even better than in "The Messenger" (his last academy award nomination).

Defendor probably is not a perfect movie but Woody Harrelson rescues any mistake on it, congratulations whoever chose him for this movie.
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6/10
A different kind of superhero.
lewiskendell14 April 2010
Defendor is the story of a simple, deluded, child-like man, who thinks he's a super-hero. In all likelihood, he should have died a swift and brutal death no later than ten minutes in, but it seems that God watches out for the simple-minded, even in movies. Somehow, Defendor even ends up bumbling his way into doing some good.

Woody Harrelson portrayed Arthur in a way that completely avoided mocking him. Imagine Tom Hanks in Forrest Gump. Arthur has definite reasons for his quest and his actions, and as those reasons are revealed during the movie, you become more and more attached to his character. Kat Dennings plays a young prostitute who befriends Arthur and is instrumental in helping him to his final destiny, and Sandra Oh stars as a psychiatrist who learns about Arthur along with the audience.  No one is responsible for the acting burden that Harrelson has, but their performances are still solid. 

I liked this movie a good bit. It was funny in some parts, and sad in others. We really don't get to spend enough time with Arthur/Defendor and his world, but what's here is pretty satisfying.
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10/10
Why I Keep Coming Back
horizoninsight4 December 2017
Warning: Spoilers
I remember seeing this back when it first came out. About 8 years later I was reminded of the movie.

I love it. It sucks you in with sharp dialogue and relatable characters who you definitely root for until the end. Not only all of that, but the story/message is beautifully done.

"Defendor" isn't like other super hero movies, though. It doesn't follow the same bland pattern we all know and love (or hate). Arthur doesn't fly or have "super powers". He is simply a guy in a make-up mask who protects people with homemade weapons (he uses a jar of wasps among other things) - whose purpose in life is to capture Captain Industry. Kat Debrofkowitz isn't your regular "damsel in distress" either. She is a young prostitute who first meets Arthur when he beats up Chuck Dooney for being a "punk with a badge".

The whole first half of the movie is being told through Arthur/Defendor giving his deposition to Dr. Park explaining why he assaulted Mr. Debrofkowitz (Kat's dad). There, Kat knowingly lies to Arthur telling him Radovan Kristic (played by A.C Peterson) is Captain Industry - when he is in fact not - because she figures they both want revenge so it'd be a win-win. The second half is happening in real time.

At the end when Defendor/Arthur gets shot I cry every single time. I can't help it and I rarely cry watching movies.

Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings make a great team. Elias Koteas plays the prefect bad-cop-douche-bag. Sandra Oh is very believable in her role too. The whole cast did a stellar job, but major props to Peter Stebbings for taking a washed up premise and making it fresh, beautiful, inspiring, and for the ages.
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9/10
Meet The Normal Batman - Defendor!
GirishGowda5 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
My God, Woody Harrelson is on top of his game and is on a roll this past couple of years. I was very excited to see this movie, it looked like it would be fun. Not to mention, I am a huge Batman fan (only Christopher Nolan's dark versions). Bruce Wayne is a billionaire and he can afford to be the superhero, but how could a normal man be a superhero vigilante? Defendor is the answer - one has to be an extremely justice minded and fearless person, but not so naive as Arthur Poppington in this movie; he uses marbles instead of guns, his batmobile is a jacked up truck and he uses lemon juice as acid! I thought I would at the very least, smile through the film with the bumbling Defendor who took himself far too seriously, but ended up shedding a few tears. The acting and the settings are incredibly realistic, I loved this movie.

During the day, Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is a normal man (even if slightly naive to the workings of the world) working in the construction industry. During the night time, he transforms into his alter-ego, Defendor, protecting the streets from thugs. The city has a problem with thugs and nobody is prepared to stand up and fight for themselves. The police are slow to catch the wrongdoers and Arthur has a huge willpower to do what he can to help the people. He helps Kat (Kat Dennings) one night from Dooney - when she really didn't need any help - she was a hooker. Dooney (Elias Koteas) is a corrupt cop in the police force and he is in cahoots with a Serbian mob boss. Arthur has been searching for Captain industry all his life as he had killed his mother. Kat and Arthur become friends and Defendor goes after Captain Industry knowing that there is a very high chance of dying or getting arrested.

Director Peter Stebbings has made a classic film which will be remembered for ages to come. The dialogues are simply awesome and the background score is very cheesy, but it works. Although I was excited, I didn't think I would like this film as much as I did. Woody Harrelson and Kat Dennings give amazing performances which broke my heart, they have perfect chemistry. Arthur is a very child-like adult who thinks he can be a superhero and that guns are for cowards. He is very honest with everybody, but bumbles up a police investigation in the matter of the mob boss. I rooted for his character all through and the climax was brilliant. He says to Kat: "I will see you on the moon" and in that scene I really had some tears in my eyes. He fights for justice even when he is gravely wounded and talks like a real hero. Elias Koteas and Sandra Oh as the psychiatrist also gave good performances. Others worthy of mention are his little cousin and the cousin's dad, Paul. Give this a chance and you just might end up falling in love with Defendor! 9/10
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8/10
Woody Harrelson At His Finest
chicagopoetry23 March 2010
Warning: Spoilers
It is too bad that Woody Harrelson was nominated for best supporting actor for The Messenger; he should have been nominated for best actor for this, his role as a mentally unstable man who likes to pretend that he is a superhero called Defendor, and who lives out his dream by actually fighting crime. There are some brilliantly funny and memorable moments in Defendor ("Oh, no, please, not the lime juice!"), but this is not a comedy in the strictest sense. It's actually a pretty serious drama slash crime thriller. The only glaring flaw in Defendor is the character of Kat played by Kat, a character who is much too together and with it to be a crack addicted prostitute, but the wide range of emotion in her acting makes up for the implausibility of the writing she is dealing with. We almost want Defendor to go a little farther in his wacky vigilantism involving swarms of hornets and marbles, but in some ways it's good that the movie doesn't stray too far away from reality. In fact, we get the sense that Defendor isn't as crazy as everyone thinks he is, that he's actually well aware that he's really just a normal guy play acting, which makes his heroism all the more potent. Three cheers for Defendor!
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10/10
I laughed, I cheered and I cried
notgivens17 February 2016
Not your typical superhero movie, Defendor is rooted in the average guy who just won't take it anymore, Arthur Poppington knows what's wrong and what's right... which in today's society is rare. Notable similar projects include Kick Ass, Badass and Super, none of which should be missed.

This may be my favorite role that Woody ever played. Peter Stebbings, a brilliant Canadian actor some may remember from Jeremiah in 2002, has written little, but this effort makes me hope that he does more, he even played a brief cameo as a doctor.

The final moments of any movie nearly always determine my ratings of a movie, and this one was truly moving.
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7/10
The mentally ill are the sane
joris-nightwalker22 December 2014
A superhero movie is best when it subverts the genre itself, like in Chronicle or Birdman. Defendor does just that. What happens when someone with a vulnerable mental state claims to be a superhero, fighting Captain Industry? They are looked down upon. They are seen as harmless and pitiful. Until they start to take action. Then they need to be contained and get psychological help. This movie tries to shine a light - through the psychologist - on that vulnerability and shows us there's something noble, even something pure in people who (try to) fight injustice. Woody Harrelson is in top form playing the protagonist Arthur aka. Defendor. His quest to defeat Captain Industry is a sobering and fruitless one, but the public begins to care for him. Maybe just because of Athur's general naivety. A graffiti artist paints a wall with his portrait, calling out to "fight back". That's what this movie was about for me. Fight back. Fight the self-righteous world who divide 'normal' people from those whore aren't according to some arbitrary measurement. Defendor is a warm eulogy for those defying normality and a subtle criticism on what is perceived as sane.
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10/10
Worth Seeing
vvictoria-5145518 June 2018
Warning: Spoilers
I am genuinely surprised this movie didn't get that much recognition. It's a really good story and I have to say it isn't your usual superhero movie.

The bad reviews are due to people expecting comedy. This movie is NOT a comedy and shouldn't be judged on something it clearly isn't.

Defendor is a seemingly ordinary guy who believes in justice. He's dead set on finding this metaphorical "Captain Industry" who he thinks is responsible for his mother's death.

He befriends a prostitute named Kat all because she lies to him and tells him she knows Captain Industry when she's well aware he doesn't exist. She wants revenge, Arthur belives her, and with the money he's giving her for this information, she can buy drugs.

The beginning is Arthur explaining why he assaulted Mr. Debrofkawitz who "macked" on Kat. Her father assaulted her. He rightfully gets angry at this and busts up his dry cleaning business.

The movie takes a turn when Dooney (a sleaze bag cop) uses Kat as leverage so Arthur doesn't talk about the illegal sex ring they're operating.

At the end, Defendor dies, but his heroics keep him alive throughout town. He is known as the guy who wanted to clean up the city and make it a better place.

This movie has charm. No fancy superpowers, no elaborate stunts, flying fights - just a normal guy with a homemade weapons and a make-up mask. It's a pretty old movie, but it's definitely a golden one.
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8/10
Defendor (2009)
SnakesOnAnAfricanPlain13 December 2011
Mixing a current love for super-hero movies, with a drama about mental health is a hard sell. Probably why this film has been skirting under the radar for sometime. People always talk about Batman being mentally ill. Well, Harrelson's character truly is. He is misguided into a world of crime fighting, searching for his mother's killer. He gets way in over his head, and his antics have serious consequences. He jeopardizes police investigations, and really gets hurt. At the same time, his actions are celebrated by the media and the public. The film looks at these points from a distance. Are Harrelson's methods justified? Is he just a gimmick? Is there a better way to fight crime? Whilst, all the time, reminding us that Harrelson is not well. He is dangerous, even if his heart is in the right place. Perhaps a bit too much darkness to truly take off, it has some great performances, and the action scenes always let you feel that something bad could happen to the hero. Not something you can say about many superhero films.
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7/10
One of the best of this now sub-genre
witster1821 April 2010
Warning: Spoilers
Defendor is a breath of fresh air in an otherwise suffocating wave of superhero movies. Woody Harrelson is a likable, albeit a little mentally unstable city worker who spends his nights fighting crime under the name 'Defendor' - with an 'or':) Imagine a garage inspector gadget with ducktape, marbles, and live bees as his major weapons.

Defendor gets mixed up with some dangerous people, and finds himself in over his head. The plot is nothing amazing, but the characters, there's something to write home about. Harrelson and Elias Koteas are excellent adversaries. Sandra Oh does a fine job as Harrelson's shrink. Michael Kelly is also good. Kat Dennings rounds out some solid and surprising performances in this one.

This is a believable story with believable characters. There is a little bit of everything in here. Drama. Comedy. Action. Defendor also has that little something that you can't put your finger on... probably the music, and the overall direction.

I hate to bring this down by voting it 7 while it's @7.3, but 7 is an accurate score here. Positives are mentioned above. Negatives include a lag in the middle and a hurried ending, but this movie has some good messages and a fine cast. Defendor makes the audience feel like the characters around him - he grows on you. The best of the lot I rented. Recommended. 73/100
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10/10
Great movie!!
ralfesmeijer20 April 2010
In a time when it seems Hollywood has lost all of it's imagination, comes Defendor!!!

A very well put together movie with a very likable character, that made me want to go out into the world and do some good. I laugh out loud when he fell in the dumpster and didn't remember the trash collecting days. I can recommend this movie to all movie lovers, you won't be disappointed. I was touched, elated and most definitely impressed by what they put on the screen considering the budget was so small. I can only hope that the crap storm of bad copy's and remakes stops now, and Hollywood gets inspired again to do better movies.

Yours sincerely,

Raphael.
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7/10
Defendo or Defendon't
bowmanblue26 May 2014
I'd never heard about this film until I'd watched Seth Rogen's 'Observe and Report' - a film which has the line, "I thought this was going to be funny, but actually it's kinda sad." That summed up Observe and Report and it also sums up Defendor.

If you're looking at pictures from the film and you think Woody Harrelson looks kind of funny in his bowler hat and painted-on eye mask get-up, you could be mistaken for believing that this is the 'comedy' it's partly billed as. It's not comedy. It's also not fantasy, sci-fi or action.

I would say Defendor is actually a drama. There are a few laughs (anyone who fights baddies armed only with wasps and lime juice is always going to raise a chuckle), but generally it's a character-focused piece about Arthur, who is a man with severe mental disabilities. He's also sick of being laughed at, so he becomes a 'heroic' crime-fighter by night called Defendor.

I thought it was going to be funny, but it is actually quite sad. Defendor wants to do the right thing and is a genuinely nice guy. That's what adds the pathos when he's repeatedly beaten up or exploited by a working girl who he befriends.

I thought this was a great movie - hardly feel-good, but deeper with more subtle, black humour; just don't expect a rip-roaring, action-packed, laugh-a-minute joyride.

http://thewrongtreemoviereviews.blogspot.co.uk/
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8/10
"Guns are for cowards!"
Mash-the-stampede5 July 2010
If you've seen the trailer for this film, you would more than likely be expecting another typical Superhero comedy spoof in the likes of "Kick-ass" and "Mystery Men". Fortunetly (or unfortunately depending on which type of film you want to watch), the trailer is actually very misleading as in I myself thought I was going to be watching a funny superhero spoof starring the very talented Woody Harrelson as a vigilante hero known as "Defendor" which I was totally o.k. with.

What I actually got was a brilliant and compelling story about a simple man (Woody) who's lack of intelligence and grip on reality result in him suiting-up in a homemade superhero outfit, arming himself with lethal weapons such as marbles and angry wasps and taking to the streets to fight crime! More often than none, he ends up getting the cr*p beaten out of him by petty thugs and nearly killed several times in the film as you can imagine.

Sounds funny, right? And for the most part - it is. There are some genuinely funny parts (granted the humour is a little dark) in "Defendor" yet the overall story is actually quite moving and somewhat heart-warming.

The main ingredient which makes this film work on this level is the brilliant performance given by Woody Harrelson. He breathes so much life into a character that could have so easily been portrayed as silly and slap-stick-ish but instead, you really end up feeling for the guy. Here is a man who is brutally honest, extremely child-like in his behaviour and naivety, he doesn't have many friends, who really is just trying to make the world a better place by removing the scumbags! Whether it be the humorous one-liner superhero babble "Defendor" spews from his mouth or the quieter, more subtle honest lines - Woody delivers with such conviction it's hard not to love this character.

"Defendor" is definitely a character driven film. Everything else from the story to the action scenes to the comedy are secondary features to a fascinating character study of human behaviour and morals.

Along with "Zombieland" (also filmed 2009), Woody Harrelson is fast becoming a household name again and if he keeps it up - he'll no doubt be up there with Depp and Downey Jr in a quirky character league of his own!

I highly recommend "Defendor" to anyone who enjoys films that are a little different and who enjoy memorable character stories.

Just don't be fooled by the trailer!!!
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7/10
Very Different and Unique
lisalan5829 May 2010
Warning: Spoilers
When I first went to rent this movie, I was expecting a dumb comedy aimed towards mocking superheroes. But I was so wrong. This film, although it does have some aspects of a comedy, is not truly in that genre at all, in my opinion.

It certainly wasn't a regular hero movie, I can say that much strongly. If you were expecting lasers, explosions, crazy villains, and X-ray vision, than you might be disappointed. Instead of some unrealistically muscular man in a tight suit, we have a overweight, not-too-attractive older man who is clumsy and unorthodox. He's a laugh to everybody; he never actually ends up winning his fights against crime and always makes a fool of himself. In fact, he ends up dying in the final battle, in a honestly shocking, saddening twist. So then why is it that this movie is any good? Because although 'The Defendor' may end up losing, in the end, he stands up for what he believes is right and has the courage to do something nobody else will do, even if he knows it may be hopeless. In a way, I found this moral far more touching than if he would have won and become famous.

The only problem with this movie though is that it is hard to follow what's going on and who the characters are. But I loved the moral of this movie, even if it was hard to watch because of the very bittersweet ending.
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7/10
Defend-itly
galahad58-129 May 2010
Defendor is a well written movie about a simple, humble, kind human being who just wants to be a superhero to help others. Woody Harrelson is excellent in the role of Arthur Poppington. Harrelson brings the old Woody (Cheers) heart and likability to the role that makes you root for Arthur throughout the entire movie. The script is well written and the film is well paced. The story of how Arthur's mother died and he just wants to protect other mothers from the same fate is a terrific idea that plays well into the framework of the film. Defendor was made before Kick A55 and it is at least 100 times better than Kick A55 ever could be. Defendor is well worth the rental and recommended.
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