review by Bobby Blakey
I have been a big fan of Joe Manganiello for years and have always thought he deserved a bigger push in the action world. He had a great role in Sabotage alongside Schwarzenegger and was set to play Deathstroke in the DC Cinematice Universe, but alas that has not come to pass, but with the Snyder cut and new footage shot I am still crossing my fingers. Now he is stepping into the kind of role I think he would shine in with his latest film Archenemy starring Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Amy Seimetz and Glenn Howerton, but does it bring that something special to the genre or will it be to far out of this world?
Archenemy follows Max Fist who 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. Together, they take to the streets to wipe out the local drug syndicate and its vicious crime boss known as The Manager. I had seen the trailer for this but wasn’t overly sure what to expect here. With the superhero genre being all the rage, people probably have expectations but you need to throw them out the window because this is not your usual superhero film.
The film offers up a creative artsy style to it with a blend of comic book style animation and the real world to keep the intertwining stories working parallel. By using this element it not only brings a unique look and feel to it, but it keeps you wondering what is real and what is just in his head. All of this is connected through a side story involving a brother and sister and their own struggles in the streets and local crime. This parallel brings them all together to fight for good and the truth.
The story is a bit all over the place at times and takes a bit to really find its footing, but once it does it works. Most of this is thanks to the great performance from Manganiello who brings a strong but tortured presence to
the role. It works to create a powerful hero and lowly drunkard who might just be crazy all at once. When he needs to be the badass he is, but plays up the crazy to perfection as well. The rest of the cast is good as well with a great scene with Paul Scheer who chews up the sequence.
In the end it might not be the type of super hyped action packed superhero film fans are used to, but it definitely brings something new to the game. Its vibrant visuals and unique take creates a new universe that would be fun to return to if they get the chance return.
In addition to the film this release includes a making of featurette taking you behind bringing this film to life. Grab your copy of Archenemy when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on February 16, 2021 from RLJE Films.