Posted on 10/14/12 03:30 PM
works on some levels, doesn't work on others. it's not really the kind of a movie that will end up in anthologies, but it's not bad at all. and it's quite an original work.
arthur is a borderline-retard who is a vigilante, dressed up in a superhero costume with toy-like add-ons. he is aware of not being a superhero, but doesn't see any other point of hope for fighting against the crime. he has three or four characters that genuinely care about him: his boss from work is a kind of elder brother figure, the crackhead prostitute he saves in one of his actions, his psychiatrist and a sympathetic police captain. except woody harelson, most of the casts are well-known and good TV actors. directing and the technical aspect is far from perfect, but what can you get from a low budget movie with a canadian tv station as one of the co-producers.
it's not funny movie, not in a conventional way. most of the time it's awkward to laugh, having in mind that the main character is a mentally disabled person, even though it's labeled as comedy. that kind of tone brings it close to unwatchable, but for the time of being, forget about ethics and stay put. there are two levels that are seriously underrated in all the talk about this movie.
forget about superhero comicbooks parody, the central character is retarded, and you are an asshole if you laugh at him. forget about superheroism and vigilantism for the same reasons. this is a drama about mental health, and a very good one. woody harelson's low key performance adds to it. on the other side of the story, it is a very serious deconstruction of heroism. it is about every day heroes, without super powers, childish gadgets and silly clothes. arthur is on the mental level of a child, so his perception of heroism is comic-book like. the respect he earns from "the grown-ups" has nothing to do with his vigilantism: he saves his bosses son, and he saves a girl and fights a drug-dealing chain.
it's flawed, but still... my recommendation