Like my book reviews site, these are movie reviews I write for entertainment purposes only. These are just my reviews and my opinions. They are not endorsed by Blogger or any movie studios or anyone else. So there. I borrowed my scoring system from the Metacritic site, which does not imply an endorsement from them, although I think they do have a very nice website. I convert the 1-100 scores into 1-4 stars, essentially it works like this:

1 star = 25 points
2 stars = 50 points
3 stars = 75 points
4 stars = 100 points

And then if something falls about halfway between, then I'll give it an added half-star.

Thursday, June 24, 2010


You probably haven't heard of this movie.  I don't think it had a major theatrical release.  I just heard about it as a preview for another movie and decided to put it on my queue to watch.  You can get it through Blockbuster or maybe Netflix.

Anyway, in the last decade superhero movies were an in thing and a sub-genre of these is the sort of Don Quixote-type story where an amateur nut decides to go out and try being a superhero.  A recent American one in this vein is "Kick-Ass."  A slightly older Japanese variation is called "Zebraman."  The latter starts off interesting and then gets kind of crazy.  The former from the reviews sounds gory and morally questionable.

"Defendor" strikes a balance between these.  There's not really any gore and we're not talking about a 12-year-old getting beat up, so that's good.  At the same time, the story remains in the ballpark of sanity, which is also a benefit.

As you might have guessed, this is the story of a construction worker named Arthur (Woody Harrellson) who was abandoned as a child and is a little slow.  His mom died from using drugs, so he decides to dress up in a helmet, black sweater, and painted-on mask with a duct tape 'D' on his chest as the hero Defendor to find Captain Industry, who he thinks is responsible.  For weapons he uses his grandfather's trench club from World War I, marbles, and jars of live wasps.

On his first night he interrupts a dirty undercover cop as he's trying to get a little freebie from a junkie/hooker named Kat (Kat Denning).  Kat comes to live with Arthur and gives him information about a Serbian drug dealer that Arthur things is Captain Industry.

Arthur's bumbling attempts to get the goods on the drug dealer lead him to get beat up, shot by a paintball gun, and ultimately arrested.  The judge orders him analyzed by a doctor (Sandra Oh) who feels for Arthur.  While he's in jail and being analyzed, Arthur also becomes a real hero to the people of the city.

But can a fake hero really take out real criminals?  Tune in same Bat-time, same Bat-channel.

I thought this was a pretty fun movie.  Of course I was predisposed to like this movie since I wrote a story along similar lines a few years ago.  Still, Arthur is a sympathetic character and you can't help rooting for him even if he is probably insane.  I mean he's sort of like if Forrest Gump decided to put on some tights and fight crime.  And as I said, there's not really any gore or graphic violence.

Overall, if you like superhero movies, this isn't a bad one.

(And if you like superhero stories, this isn't bad either.)

My score:  75/100 (3 stars)

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