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Defendor, 2009 – Movie Review

Posted by LiveFor on March 29, 2010

Director: Peter Stebbings
Starring: Woody Harrelson, Kat Dennings, Elias Koteas.

Score: 8.5 / 10

This review by AnotherZen.

I had heard almost nothing about this movie before I saw it, I had seen the cover/poster, and read the plot on IMDB. Comedy, Drama, normal guy who thinks he is a superhero and all that jazz. Mainly I wanted to watch it because of Woody Harrelson and it had some stuff about the Toronto International Film Festival thingy on the poster. So I thought, Woody in a indie film with superhero stuffs.. count me in.

So i started to watch the film, starting with a scene at a psychiatrist where Woody Harrelson is in a prisoner uniform. This was no straight comedy, the tone and acting gave it away within a few seconds.

Some 100 minutes later I was left with a feeling I get rarely, that feeling when you walk away from a movie and actually thinking about it and that it affects you in some way, moves you. This one did exactly that.

This is Peter Stebbings’s directional debut and with it, he instantly makes a name for himself as a great understander of character study, social study and how to portray this in an awesome way, holding the watcher both entertained and thinking throughout the film. Casting was key in this film too, and with the actors they have, every scene and dialogue comes across as real and emotional when it has to, cold, light hearted, clever and both the subtle and not so subtle comical themes comes across loud and clear but never over the top.

Woody Harrelson plays a simple minded, yet determined man who is out at night, fighting crime in the hopes of finding Captain Industry, someone that ties into to his past. With his arsenal of weird gadgets and tactics, he goes from a child to a hero once he goes donnes the duct tape’d D sweater, with a VHS recorderon his back and his spy camera helmet, trying to rid the streets of punks. Kat Denninings surprises me too here, never seen her in anything before and she just takes the character and creates this lovable yet despisable young prostitue with a secondary story that ties inn very good and gives the movie its noticeable depth. Her motives are unclear most of the time, giving us hints of frustration, loneliness, yet lights up the movie with joy and fun as she and Defendor try to get along. The third character that makes this triangle work is Elias Koteas’s splendidly acted corrupt officer character. He just oozes of this bad, crooked police man that has a bad taste for drugs and a is using Kat Dennings character for his own pleasure.

The fourth “character” that I think is vital in this movie is the radio commentator, who basiclly gives us headlines from the people in the streets. What some people are thinking, what others are not aso, and gives the movie this small but needed reminder of the bigger picture.

The movie does feel abit long, there are some scenes that are a bit drawn out, and it dozes off somewhat after 2/3 of the movie, but then gets back up and finishes with a what I would call a perfect ending.

Satire done right.

One Response to “Defendor, 2009 – Movie Review”

  1. pjowens75 said

    Good review. I was a little surprised that this movie tanked at the box office. I expected it to do better than it did.

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