Movie Review: Archenemy

There are dozens of superhero movies out there, and all of them have at least something of a point to them. Archenemy does have a point, but it gets lost quite often in the dialogue that is meant to give more explanation to the tale so that people know what’s going on. But unfortunately, even when paying attention it’s tough to know what’s happening since the gritty and dark nature of this movie makes it tough to think about what you’re watching. There’s no doubt that there’s a great deal of love for Joe Manganiello, but there are times when one has to wonder just how far a person is going to be able to push a character or a movie idea until it becomes more than a little ridiculous. To say Archenemy is a horrible movie wouldn’t be fair or accurate, but to say that it’s one of those that was made for a different purpose than any other superhero movies are made would be a little closer to the truth. The fact that it came out and received little to no real recognition isn’t hard to understand. 

The movie isn’t so absolutely horrible that one can’t stand to watch it, but there are a lot of moments when a person might wish for the action to really get going so that it can become what it was advertised as, and what it might be better off portraying. The idea of a superhero falling into a different reality isn’t that out of control when talking about these types of movies, but digging so hard into the storyline with the overall idea that Max Fist is from a different dimension and lost his powers when he crossed over is something that a lot of people might enjoy, and others might just laugh at since in real life it’s something that would receive the same treatment. 

Seriously, people have a hard enough time believing anything that might be even a little bit true when it comes to those that can perform feats that many individuals aren’t capable of, so thinking of what might happen if a person claimed to be a superhero would be met with even more scorn and derision. That part of the movie was definitely accurate and contained the realism that a lot of viewers might have appreciated. But the rest of it felt like a lot of exposition that wasn’t always necessary and kind of slowed things down a bit. Even the fight scenes felt a little too generic, even for a hero that doesn’t have his powers and is struggling to get along in a world he doesn’t understand. It’s tough to grasp what heroes would be like without their powers, especially when considering what this would do from a psychological aspect. But thinking that the loss of one’s powers could drive one to be a drunk and homeless individual without any way to pull themselves out of the gutter does feel like a worst-case scenario that would still take a bit of prodding to achieve. But when it comes to this movie it does appear that it follows a formula, just from a very down-to-earth and grit-laden perspective that makes it clear that even a happy ending wouldn’t come without a sacrifice of some sort. 

The fact is, this movie feels like something that might have been great back in the 90s or even in the 2000s, where it might have gained the type of attention that would have turned it into a blockbuster. But as of now, it almost feels like something that was thought up and produced using the dregs of the superhero genre from the 90s, with a story that feels geared toward the modern era. In terms of it being a superhero movie, which it still is, like it or not, Archenemy is the kind of movie that you might watch when you’ve grown tired of the flash and pomp of other superhero movies and want something that’s a little dirtier and not nearly as fast-paced. In other words, if you want to watch a story about someone that’s bound to be seen as a crazy person when they’re telling a truth that people can’t and won’t try to understand, this would be it. 

It’s not one of the best movies to come along, but it’s definitely not the worst either since it does offer up a few thrills and a couple of decent fight scenes, and a lot of feels throughout the length of it. But the bottom line is that Archenemy isn’t really meant to be looked at in the same manner as a lot of other superhero movies. It’s fair to say that if it had had just a little more action and a lot less word-heavy dialogue it would have been a little better since it still wouldn’t have been the typical hero movie, but it would have been a little more exciting and a lot more effective. 


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