Thursday, December 10, 2020

Archenemy Review: A Fun, Gritty Take On The Comic Book Movie

Luis Kelly-Duarte	...	Comic Store Owner Skylan Brooks	Skylan Brooks	...	Hamster Zolee Griggs	Zolee Griggs	...	Indigo Joe Manganiello	Joe Manganiello	...	Max Fist Paul Scheer	Paul Scheer	...	Tango Mac Brandt	Mac Brandt	...	Decker Kieran Gallagher	Kieran Gallagher	...	Longman Amy Seimetz	Amy Seimetz	...	Cleo Joseph D. Reitman	Joseph D. Reitman	...	Finn Glenn Howerton	Glenn Howerton	...	The Manager Amje Elharden	Amje Elharden	...	Mask Man Christopher Guyton	Christopher Guyton	...	Bartender

Release date: December 11, 2020
Running time: 90 minutes
Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Joe Manganiello
Written and Directed By: Adam Egypt Mortimer

Max Fist (Manganiello) claims to be a hero from another dimension who fell through time and space to earth, where he has no powers. No one believes his stories except for a local teen named Hamster (Brooks).  But when the teen and his sister Indigo (Griggs) get into some trouble, they'll need to believe in Max Fist to help get them out of it.

David Baxter	...	executive producer Danny Chan	...	executive producer (as Danny H. Chan) Yiju Chen	...	executive producer Luke Daniels	...	executive producer Babacar Diene	...	executive producer Scott Hinckley	...	line producer Phil Hunt	...	executive producer Stacy Jorgensen	...	executive producer Garrett Kelleher	...	executive producer Lorcan Kelleher	...	associate producer / executive producer Terri Lubaroff	...	executive producer Matthew J. Malek	...	executive producer Joe Manganiello	...	producer Nick Manganiello	...	producer Daniel Noah	...	producer Alan Pao	...	executive producer Compton Ross	...	executive producer Danny Roth	...	executive producer Kim Sherman	...	producer Kim Sherman	...	producer Lisa Whalen	...	producer Elijah Wood	...	producer
Archenemy feels like a comic book movie right from the outset of the film.  I loved the comic book opening with its bright colors and out of this world story.  It sets the stage nicely and contrasts greatly when you get to the real world.  And despite the real world seeming to be much more bleak, there is a comic book flair to the real world too.  Characters have brighter colors and more out there clothing; such as Indigo's blue and pink hair or Hamster's bright pink jacket.  The sets also have bolder colors that lead to an overall comic book feel.  And the characters are quirky and well cast.  Manganiello is great as Max Fist, a super hero that has essentially lost his powers and his will to go on.  He uses his anger to try and get his powers back but generally only accomplishes in hurting himself.  Hamster is fun as a high energy character.  He is strong and pushy, sort of like what I imagine a confident Instagram influencer is like, but he is also caring.  And Indigo is good as someone doing what it takes to survive, even when that causes her to cross the line.

And the story of Archenemy has a nice build up, with Hamster and Max Fist slowly learning more about each other.  Hamster learns more about Max's "home planet" and Max learns more about Hamster and his troubles.  And the story has a few twists that will keep you guessing what will happen next.  There is a particularly funny twist that occurs in the middle of the story that causes the viewer to reevaluate much of what we had learned up to this point.  And the story is generally fun, though it can have some dark slides here and there.  Like a grittier comic book, the story and Max sometimes go to dark places when needed.  However, this felt like a character shift from what I understood Max's character to be.  It led to some exciting, visceral scenes, but it also felt a little disingenuous to the character.  And although the film has generally good effects, the CG can sometimes be overused or distracting.  And although i generally liked the story, the ending did leave something to be desired.  It felt like too much of a plot twist.

Archenemy is a fun, gritty take on the comic book movie with a bright style, interesting characters, and some darker moments and plot twists to keep you on edge.

Rent it.

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RLJE Films will release the action/thriller ARCHENEMY In Theaters, On Digital and On Demand December 11, 2020. 

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