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Adam Egypt Mortimer
Joe Mangianello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs
Adam Egypt Mortimer

Max Fist claims to be a hero from another dimension who fell through time and space to earth, where he has no powers.
Rated NR.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 90 min.
Price: $28.96
Release Date: 2/16/2021

• “The Making of Archenemy” Featurette
• Previews


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Archenemy [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 9, 2021)

Probably best-known as one of the supporting strippers in the Magic Mike movies, Joe Mangianello apparently will earn a big spot in the DC Comics film universe soon as Deathstroke. Until then, we get him as the lead in an indie superhero movie, 2020’s Archenemy.

Max Fist (Mangianello) claims he comes from another realm called Chromium, where he says he possessed special powers and battled his foes. Max says he wound up on Earth via a wormhole, but here he enjoys no abilities other than to down a lot of booze.

Max spouts these claims to anyone who will listen, but only self-aggrandizing teen Hamster (Skylan Brooks) believes him. After local drug kingpin known as “The Manager” (Glenn Howerton) goes after Hamster and his sister Indigo (Zolee Griggs), Max needs to prove his heroic worth.

At the very least, Archenemy comes with an interesting concept, as it leaves us with the question related to Max’s true nature. Did he really fall to Earth from some alternate existence or does he simply suffer from mental illness?

That twist becomes the most intriguing aspect of Archenemy, and the rest of the film doesn’t live up to its promise. Whereas the movie manages to remain watchable, it doesn’t find enough room to explore the material in an especially satisfying manner.

One of the main issues stems from the consistency of the narrative, as Archenemy tends to meander an awful lot. Rather than follow a coherent theme, it wanders around and sacrifices too much time to domains that seem tangential.

At its core, Archenemy pitches a pretty simple story, but the end product muddies the waters too much. Rather that offer a tight “hero’s journey”, we find s tale without much focus, and that damages its overall impact.

Because it only runs 90 minutes, Archenemy doesn’t wear out its welcome, and it boasts occasional spurts of energy. At times, the flick seems like it might live up to its potential.

However, the final product remains less than terrific. While not a bad spin on the superhero genre, Archenemy fails to engage as well as it could.

The Disc Grades: Picture B-/ Audio B/ Bonus D

Archenemy appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a decent but erratic presentation.

Sharpness turned into one of the inconsistent elements, as some aspects of the movie looked oddly soft. While most of the movie seemed fairly well-defined, these less precise moments created minor distractions. I suspected these issues largely stemmed from stylistic choices, but they still seemed strange.

I saw no signs of jagged edges or moiré effects, and the image lacked edge haloes. The film showed no print flaws.

Colors opted for heavily stylized tones that mixed blue, purple, orange, amber and red. These choices could look a little dense, though the image usually pulled them off in a satisfactory manner.

Blacks were a bit crushed, and shadows could seem somewhat heavy at times, though neither issue became a true distraction. Ultimately, the picture fell into the “not bad” category but that was about it.

While not overly ambitious, the movie’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack worked well. A few more action-oriented scenes used the spectrum best, as some violence packed a punch.

Most of the soundfield emphasized the film’s moody score as well as environmental elements. These broadened the mix in a compelling manner.

Audio quality seemed good, with speech that comes across as natural and concise. Music appeared vivid and robust as well.

Effects offered solid clarity, with nice range and low-end impact. This turned into a worthwhile mix.

The Making of Archenemy runs six minutes, 53 seconds and brings comments from actors Joe Manganiello, Skylan Brooks, Zolee Griggs, and Amy Seimetz.

The featurette examines story and characters as well as performances. A few minor insights result but this mostly feels promotional, which feels odd since it includes tremendous spoilers.

The disc opens with ads for Mandy and Color Out of Space. No trailer for Archenemy appears here.

Parts of Archenemy show creativity and point toward a clever spin on the superhero genre. Unfortunately, the final product lacks the necessary focus and it doesn’t quite connect. The Blu-ray brings erratic picture with good audio and minor bonus materials. This becomes a watchable adventure but not a memorable one.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
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