Defendor (2009)

This is a dark superhero movie with some comedic elements. It's an indie film, so it's got a low budget, but the cinematography is really good, the directing is excellent, and the acting is shockingly good. I mean, who would have expected Woody Harrelson to do this well?

The story is about a mentally challenged man who has embraced life as a superhero on a low budget. Even though he's a simple person and a simple character, he is very endearing in his straight-forward interpretation of comic book heroes. For example, he drives a Mack truck - and he put a label for the truck right underneath the bulldog hood ornament that says, "Defendog." The door to his hideout is the Defendoor.

The simplistic nature of the main character is offset by the spectacular complexity of Kat Dennings' character as his uncostumed and unfighting sidekick. The supporting cast is similarly fantastic, although their characters aren't given a whole heap of development. I mean, you have the bad cop, the crime lord, and the friend who tries to help him out.

Defendor's quirks are augmented by his costume. It includes a helmet cam that is attached to a VCR that he carries on his back. The video is too low of a resolution to discern any faces or even much of what's going on, and this is the kind of endearing optimism that the character displays through the entire movie. Aside from a trench club he inherited, his main weapons are a handful of marbles that he throws to disorient his enemies and jars full of angry wasps.

The movie probably goes on longer than it needs to, but it's entertaining for what it is. And what it is is pretty darn good.

4.5/5

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