ARCHENEMY is a new action-adventure movie that has a lot going for it. It stars Joe Manganiello in a movie he seems born for as much as his True Blood role. Its 90-minute runtime makes for a fascinating watch that stays sharp. Read our full Archenemy movie review here!

ARCHENEMY is a new action-adventure movie about a man, who believes that he’s a hero from another dimension. Here on Earth, Max Fist (Joe Manganiello) is simply a homeless man who drinks and snorts various drugs constantly. 

Joe Manganiello is pretty damn perfect in this movie, which he also produced with his brother, and is a huge reason why it works so well. Another thing that works really well for this movie, is the 90-minute runtime. This ensures that you never grow tired of the wacky and fascinating world in this movie.

Continue reading our Archenemy movie review here!

A graphic novel feel that works

Part of the Archenemy movie is also animated, which worked really well for me, but not so much for my Heaven of Horror partner-in-crime. She didn’t mind the animations as such but simply did not care for the particular style used. 

If you find yourself feeling the same way, then I can assure you that it doesn’t take up too much of the 90 minutes. In fact, it’s only used to show this other dimension that Max Fist claims to come from. He ended up on our Earth when he was fighting his archenemy (yes, hence the title) and lost all his powers in the process.

And yet, Max Fist is still a beast of a man who can take much more pain and violence (as well as drugs and alcohol) than any other human being. But is Max Fist actually from another dimension or is he simply a crazy person who ignores pain? You’ll have to watch the movie to find out!

Archenemy – Movie Review

Truly awesome casting

The casting of the Max Fist character is clearly very important. And yes, Joe Manganiello is absolutely perfect in this role, as far as I’m concerned. Just like he made the perfect werewolf in True Blood and even as a male stripper in Magic Mike. The man is simply built for these roles and manages to make the most of them.

More power to Joe Manganiello and his impressive physique. Also, I have to give the man credit for his acting in this movie as well. Hell, I would buy his story as well even if it does sound very “out there”. Literally, way out there… as in another dimension!

However, while Joe Manganiello is the face (and body) of the Archenemy plot, he is far from the only important character. The two main protagonists are actually siblings trying to make it in this world alone.

Indigo is the older sister hustling her way through life and working with drug dealers. Quite easily convincing herself that the end justifies the means. And her end goal is securing a good life for her brother, Hamster. Where Indigo is cool and calculated, Hamster is all heart and good intention. It’s not easy for these two being siblings but they do have each other’s backs.

The role of Indigo is played with perfect subtlety by Zolee Griggs (Bit) while Hamster is portrayed by Skylan Brooks (season 2 of Castle Rock). Also in the cast, we get Amy Seimetz (Pet Sematary) and Glenn Howerton (The Hunt) in key roles that I won’t spoil for you here!

Watch Archenemy in select theaters and On-Demand

Archenemy was directed by Adam Egypt Mortimer who also came up with the story and co-wrote the screenplay with Lucas Passmore. Lucas Passmore (also known as Luke Passmore) also co-wrote the 2018 horror-comedy Slaughterhouse Rulez which had the most brilliant cast.

Adam Egypt Mortimer co-wrote and directed the crime-fantasy Daniel Isn’t Real which is absolutely worth watching as well. If you watch Archenemy and like it even remotely, then you really need to check that one out as well. Also, he did the New Year’s Eve segment of the horror anthology Holidays from 2016.

You might like: Read our review of Daniel Isn’t Real here >

This movie isn’t simple in the sense that the world is somewhat alternative to the real world. And yet, within this world, we are also presented with a character who claims to come from another dimension. I don’t think this movie will be to everyone’s liking, but I think it could easily gather a cult following.

Also, it’s classic storytelling at its core and I do love a good adventure. To me, Archenemy is exactly that; A good – and brutal – adventure!

Archenemy is out In Theaters and On-Demand and Digital on December 11, 2020.

Details

Director: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Writer: Adam Egypt Mortimer
Stars: Joe Manganiello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, Amy Seimetz, Kieran Gallagher, Paul Scheer, Joseph D. Reitman

Plot

A teen meets a mysterious man who claims he lost his superpowers after arriving from another dimension. Together, they take to the streets to wipe out a vicious crime boss and his local drug syndicate.

I write reviews and recaps on Heaven of Horror. And yes, it does happen that I find myself screaming, when watching a good horror movie. I love psychological horror, survival horror and kick-ass women. Also, I have a huge soft spot for a good horror-comedy. Oh yeah, and I absolutely HATE when animals are harmed in movies, so I will immediately think less of any movie, where animals are harmed for entertainment (even if the animals are just really good actors). Fortunately, horror doesn't use this nearly as much as comedy. And people assume horror lovers are the messed up ones. Go figure!
Karina "ScreamQueen" Adelgaard