Sunday, April 25, 2010



I might very well be the biggest Woody Harrelson fan on the planet. A dope-smoking pacifist who convincingly chameleons his way through a series of military/lawmen/psychopath roles, it is clear that Harrelson has mastered his craft.

Too bad the film itself sucks. Every comic book notion and every seedy crime film twist has been harnessed to make the plot of DEFENDOR. It works but on a lame TV Movie sort of level.

However DEFENDOR is another master thespian-cementing step for Woody; this time he is a mentally challenged, marble-hurling, wasp-siccing, crime-fighting vigilante named DEFENDOR. Think of Mickey Rooney’s character in BILL but with a 6 foot stature, a few more brain cells, and a superhero complex. His character, Authur Poppington, is in way over his head with crooked police, human trafficking, Serbian gangsters, a family that loves him, and a heart-of-gold hooker with a dirty smoker's voice. The problem is that the movie is so trite, so cliché, and so improbable that it never grows legs and walks.

Nothing new is presented in DEFENDOR, but we get to see Woody really, really act. Too bad Elias Koteas is once again playing a morally bankrupt character. Too bad Sandra Oh is limited to playing a conflicted psychiatrist that is underdeveloped as a character. Kat Dennings is also wasted as a mouthy, meth-headed streetwalker. They are all flat except for Woody who uncannily becomes this retarded DEFENDOR character and rises up against horrible plotting and film pacing to deliver a solid performance. When this movie hits its final moments of the third act, you've seen the solution to all of the problems coming for quite some time. Woody just has to act his way through it. He does a fine job of it too. It is just too bad that the rest of the movie is nothing but meh.

-Mediasaurus Rex

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