There is a League of Fake Superheroes, and it has a long and storied history in the annals of cinema. Way back in 1980, which is the same year "talkies" were invented, there was a slight but somehow memorable John Ritter comedy called Hero at Large, which was about an actor who dons a superhero costume and roams around the city doing good. Needless to say, real danger gets in the way of the fun. Films as varied as Watchmen, Kick Ass, Mystery Men, and Special have all touched upon the fascinating issue of "everyman superheroism," although none have done it quite as ... oddly as Peter Stebbings' Defendor.

Here we have a protagonist (played powerfully well -- as usual -- by Woody Harrelson) who is clearly a few cards short in the full deck department. Good-natured and entirely likable, Arthur Poppington is also the sort of guy who dons a crazy costume and thwarts little crimes all across the city at night. One such patrol forces "Defendor" to cross paths with a dirty cop (Elias Koteas) and a wounded runaway (Kat Dennings), which kicks off a series of events that vaults the goofy vigilante into the media spotlight. Oh, and don't call him "Defender."
categories Reviews, Cinematical