So you know about this little movie called Kick-Ass: sewer-mouthed kids dressed in bright pajamas and capes who cheerily introduce bad guys to the pitfalls of additional holes in the head/the miracles of modern day prosthesis. If it can get past it’s first-blush head-trip of being insanely crude just for the sake of “we can”, Kick-Ass will be the latest entry in a deconstructive super-hero sub-genre that’s as interesting as it is fun.
With Kick-Ass‘ April arrival sucking all of the air out of the multi-plex, the also-ran superhero flick Defendor may be left in the lurch. The movie stars Woody Harrelson as a “slower than normal” everyman out to avenge his mother’s death. Apparently, it’s part comedy, part drama and part sympathetic character study. Either way, it’s set in the steamy dark alleys of a major city and has Woody getting beat to a pulp.
Of course, Defendor and Kick-Ass are just the latest– not the only– entries into the “real” superhero subgenre. 1999 gave us the love-it-or-hate-it Mystery Men and 2006 introduced us to Special, a hard-knock look at a delusional guy who uses his new “does he or doesn’t he have them” super-powers to fight crime. Another film along the same lines, Super (directed by James Gunn, the guy who gave us the silly, fun and underseen Slither) is due this year as well.
We’ll see how the genre continues to hold up, but with real people in real cities living the superhero dream, movies like Defendor continue to be no less fascinating. Defendor is arriving on Friday in limited release, but with positive reviews coming in, deserves to be seen when it arrives sooner than later in your Netflix queue.