Defendor (DVD)

It is unfortunate that the home video release of Defendor came at a time when the media machine for Kick-Ass was kicking into high gear, as this film will unfairly be linked to the superhero / comedy genre in a way that it should not be. Arthur Poppington (Woody Harrelson) is an absolutely demented individual that thinks that ey is a superhero, shifting into the titular role with a panoply of hand-made gadgets.

While there is a plotline that pits Defendor against eir arch-enemy, Captain Industry, there is a secondary story that seems more Frank Miller’s Dark Knight Returns than standard beat-em-up fare. This means that Defendor takes on a young charge in Kat Dennings’ (Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist) role as a drug-using street walker. After being caught up regarding eir mental state, both from eir psychologist Dr. Park (Sandra Oh) and boss at the construction site, Paul (Michael Kelly, of Dawn of the Dead and Changling), Poppington is informed that taking on the Defendor persona could have some serious ramifications. When forced to choose between eir freedom and the safety of Kat, Defendor takes the high moral road and gets a life-time compatriot as a result.

The video quality is strong on the DVD version of the title, ensuring that even those that splurged when the economy was good will not be clamoring for the Blu-Ray version of the title. The sound quality is similarly clear, with dialogue ringing through clearly even with tremendous amount of ambient (but ultimately natural) noise. The commentary for the film, laid down by Dennings and Peter Stebbings (director) is perhaps the greatest additional feature here. The presence of cast and crew in the creation of this narrative showcases a way to think about the film that was considerably different than how I took it the first time out. There is enough material in Defendor for this to rapidly become a cult classic in the years to come, and with a solid enough script, I can see the title becoming a series.

Rating: 8.3/10

Defendor (DVD) /2010 Sony / 101 Minutes / http://www.sonypictures.com/homevideo

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