I could make this review a really short read by simply saying that Archenemy rules. It totally kicks a**, and you should watch it—end of story. However, it’s pretty typical for a critic to expand upon this thesis and provide reasons and all that jazz. So I will do that, but remember, I already told you that the movie is incredible and you should just stop what you’re doing right now and watch it. [EDITOR’S NOTE: Please read the full review and click on one of our sponsor ads too.] Maybe if your tastes don’t fit within the confines of violent, bloody revenge flicks, you won’t like it. This movie wasn’t made for you, and for that, I pity you. Stop reading this and go watch a period piece. [Please, please, please support Film Threat and read the full review!] Now, for those of you still here and who enjoy action, horror, and superhero films, Archenemy is an absolute must-watch.
Adam Egypt Mortimer made his name in the horror community with films like Some Kind of Hate and Daniel Isn’t Real. So when I read the original plot synopsis of Archenemy, I was absolutely intrigued.
“He was sent to our world by his archenemy, and now his powers are gone.”
Joe Manganiello plays Max Fist, who at first glance, appears to be an enormous homeless person with an equally large drinking problem and massive delusions. He tells anyone who listens that he is from the city of Chromium, in another dimension. In this other dimension, Max has superpowers, which make him invincible and give him the ability to fly. He was sent to our world by his archenemy, and now his powers are gone. No one really wants to hear these tales, and certainly, no one believes him.
That is until Max meets Hamster (Skylan Brooks), a young media influencer who has found the jackpot in the possible superhero. Hamster’s older sister, Indigo (Zolee Griggs), is the breadwinner of the family. She makes her money selling drugs for a blonde mustachioed douchebag referred to as The Manager (Glenn Howerton in a bravura performance). One night, The Manager sends Indigo on an errand to get money from a man named Crieg (Paul Scheer playing way against type), who is definitely getting high on his own supply. A horrific thing happens here that brings Indigo’s, Hamster’s, and Max’s worlds together. A whole hell of a lot of violence and mayhem ensues.
The great thing about Archenemy is that for most of the film, we are pretty sure that Max Fist is a delusional homeless alcoholic. It might be hard to imagine the inarguably gorgeous Joe Manganiello playing a crazy homeless person, but it works. A lot of the intensity that Manganiello brought to his role as Alcide in True Blood is on an even bigger, more bombastic display here.
"…one of my favorite movies from this hellhole of a year."