A miserable conman and his partner pose as Santa and his Little Helper to rob department stores on Christmas Eve. But they run into problems when the conman befriends a troubled kid, and the security boss discovers the plot.
Billy Bob Thornton,
Bi-polar mall security guard Ronnie Barnhardt is called into action to stop a flasher from turning shopper's paradise into his personal peep show. But when Barnhardt can't bring the culprit to justice, a surly police detective, is recruited to close the case.
A crooked cop, a mob boss and the young girl they abuse are the denizens of a city's criminal underworld. It's a world that ordinary Arthur Poppington doesn't understand and doesn't belong in, but is committed to fighting when he changes into a vigilante super-hero of his own making, Defendor. With no power other than courage Defendor takes to the streets to protect the city's innocents. Written by
This was a rather enjoyable and strangely touching action caper, with moments of genuine depth and truth.
Woody Harrelson proves once again that he's an incredibly versatile and emotionally astute actor, with an arresting performance that carries the story along with remarkable zeal and fun. And while the plot and direction skirt close to sentimentalism towards the end, Harrelson executes the last few scenes in a manner so as not to spoil the quirky edge of the film.
Another angle that I found particularly enjoyable were the deferred references to Don Quixote - if you've read Cervantes's hilarious Rennaissance series you'll no doubt notice uncanny similarities that suggest homage: In lieu of the outlandish chivalric tales that madden Don Quixote and compel him to forge his own suit of armour and 'sally forth' into the wilds of quiet old La Mancha, we have 'Defendor', who similarly loses what few wits he has to begin with by obsessively reading comic books and deciding to become a superhero in an anonymous post-industrial slum. Sancho Panza is replaced by a saner but similarly pliant crack-addict, Kat, and Rosindante is supplanted by his 'defendog' mobile.
There are other similarities the movie has with D. Quixote, but to mention those would give the game away. It will suffice to say, however, that the film is quite highly recommended by this viewer, if not just for the joy of seeing Don Quixote once again take to the streets in all his glory.
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