Who wears a hardhat and duct tape and is black and blue all over?

That'd be Defendor, the quirky protagonist of the new movie of the same name. 'Defendor' stars Woody Harrelson in the title role, and was written and directed by Canadian Peter Stebbings. The solid flick racked up accolades when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and has been attracting steady crowds since its theatrical release in late February.

Who wears a hardhat and duct tape and is black and blue all over?

That'd be Defendor, the quirky protagonist of the new movie of the same name. 'Defendor' stars Woody Harrelson in the title role, and was written and directed by Canadian Peter Stebbings. The solid flick racked up accolades when it debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival last fall, and has been attracting steady crowds since its theatrical release in late February.

Defendor's bag of tricks includes marbles, jars of wasps and attempts at witty one-liners. The well-intentioned superhero wannabe is played flawlessly by Harrelson, who truly captures Defendor's pure heart and steely resolve to take down the elusive 'Captain Industry.'

Defendor's daytime alter-ego is Arthur Poppington, a lonely Hamilton (that's right, Hamilton, Ontario!) construction worker who becomes obsessed with fighting crime. Arthur has a lair worthy of any brooding superhero – he holes himself up in a corner of an underused warehouse, much to the chagrin of his boss and long-time friend, Paul.



Paul is Arthur's unofficial guardian angel. He worries about his wayward friend, who frequently shows up to work covered in bruises from his nightly crime patrols. What Paul may not know is that Arthur's bizarre crime-fighting tactics are surprisingly effective at catching bad guys off-guard. After all, who expects to be on the receiving end of a handful of marbles or a jar full of wasps? Unfortunately, his unorthodox weapons can only take him so far, and he usually winds up getting the bruisin' he was cruisin' for.

Arthur's solitary lifestyle is interrupted when he crosses paths with Kat (Kat Dennings), a rebellious teenage runaway who turns tricks to finance her drug habit. She senses Arthur's kind nature, and begins crashing at his threadbare living space and taking what little money he has in exchange for "intel" about the target of Arthur's obsession, Captain Industry.

The movie opens with Arthur explaining his crime-fighting spree to a psychiatrist, played by fellow Canadian Sandra Oh. She tries to figure out what makes Arthur tick, and what caused him to assume the role of Defendor in the first place. It's clear that Arthur isn't quite all there, but at the same time it's hard not to root for him and his noble cause of cleaning up the streets.

Stebbings coaxes great performances out of Harrelson, Dennings and Oh, and the script goes a lot deeper than your run-of-the-mill crime-fighting flick. It could have easily gone the 100% campy route, but instead has heart, and makes us genuinely feel for the earnest Arthur Poppington. Remarkably, this is his first time in the director's chair – Stebbings is more frequently found in front of the camera, acting in shows like 'Cra$h & Burn' and 'G-Spot.'

Hopefully the critical acclaim 'Defendor' generated at TIFF last fall will translate into box office success for this Canadian flick. After all, it's about time Canada had its own superhero with heart! Why not get out your duct tape, fashion some "D"s and head down to the theatres to help keep this Canadian gem on the big screen? Go, Defendor!