Defendor

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Posted February 25, 2010 in Film

Woody Harrelson, intense and adamant, stars in this quirky flick about a mentally-slow man named Arthur who feels it’s his duty—his responsibility—to secure the streets. His enemy is an unknown villain he calls Captain Industry. If he, or really his alter-identity Defendor (a name he insists he knows how to spell), can uncover and destroy Captain Industry, it will avenge the death of his mother (Charlotte Sullivan), a drug addict and prostitute who vanished when he was a boy. Like Special, a smart no-budget flick starring Michael Rapaport as a meter maid turned superhero, and the upcoming Kick-Ass, writer-director Peter Stebbings’ debut flick is interested in the common man’s need to feel extraordinary. Says Harrelson, “When I’m Defendor, I’m not Arthur anymore—I’m a million times better than Arthur.” And we understand his hollowness. Harrelson lives in a warehouse, works construction and has just one friend (Michael Kelly), who sometimes feels more like a foster parent. With the entrance of a teen prostitute (Kat Dennings), Harrelson has two friends, if he forgets that she’s shaking him down for a daily fee to help his investigation. They do share one hobby: loathing her pimp Elias Koteas, who gets the brunt of Harrelson’s loony weapons. (“Guns are for cowards,” he insists—too bad no one else agrees.) Stebbings isn’t saying much with this simple flick and he’s awkwardly structured it around Defendor’s psych exam with Dr. Sandra Oh. But the conviction in Harrelson’s performance sells the movie—he and his character are both unsung heroes who give their roles everything they’ve got.

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