C * *
Archenemy is a low budget superhero film with a twist: the “hero”, Max Fist (Joe Manganiello), is a homeless alcoholic who claims that he was transported to our dimension while saving his own city, Chromium, from his archenemy, Cleo. He is befriended by a wanna be reporter, Hamster. When Hamster’s sister, Indigo, is caught by her criminal boss stealing from him, Max saves her and Hamster.
Manganiello does a good job playing Max Fist. He seems to sincerely believe his own story, but there are hints that he may be a paranoid schizophrenic. Most of the film walks the line between Max’s fantasy world and reality. In the third act, the two collide and Hamster is confronted with the fact that Max truly believes his own story.
Max’s memories of Chromium are shown in very simple animation, doubtless due to budgetary constraints. Unlike Sucker Punch, which had a huge budget for Babydoll’s fantasy world, but failed to deliver, I found Archenemy worked for me, though the third act was the weakest. This film won’t win any awards, but I enjoyed it.