Wednesday, November 17, 2021

Alpha Rift, Co-Starring Lance Henriksen

It's like Pathfinder or Dungeons & Dragons, except its real. You would think someone whose life revolves around role-playing games would jump at the chance to fulfill his fantasy “destiny,” but Nolan Parthmore is a whiny millennial, so he’d rather walk away from responsibility, despite the potentially dire consequences. Fortunately, Lance Henriksen is there to explain things in Dan Lantz’s Alpha Rift, which releases Friday in theaters and on-demand.

Parthmore’s dad wasn’t around long, but he still managed to pass down a love of the Alpha Rift franchise to his son. That is because he was a descendant of one of the original four noblemen, who battled the Devil’s Apostles into temporary containment. That means Parthmore is also an heir to the bloodline, but he has no idea, until the modern-day Knights deliver his ancestor’s magic helmet.

They are hoping to draw out Lord Dragsmere, his bloodline’s old nemesis. Unfortunately, he has recently freed himself from their mystical prison and has been wreaking havoc in the body of a hardened criminal. Unfortunately, it works a little too well, freaking out the self-centered Parthmore. Corbin, the stern-talking leader of the knights tries to train him to fight evil, but he is a poor student.

The good news is Henriksen has a great deal of screentime as Corbin (whereas in a lot of his recent films, he’s basically been a “special guest star”) and his voice makes even the silliest dialogue sound cool. Unfortunately, Aaron Dalla Villa is even more prominent as the gratingly annoying Parthmore. Rachel Nielsen has more charisma as his torch-carrying platonic pal Gabby, but they never really click.

Alpha Rift
is the kind of geek-serving movie that is supposed to be a little cheesy—and Henriksen definitely does a lot to sell the corny effects and plot elements. Unfortunately, Lantz’s screenplay does not cleverly get inside the role-playing world. It just doesn’t feel like it is organically part of that world.

The premise is fun, in a throwback
Last Starfighter kind of way, but it should have been even geekier. The millennials being millennials do not help either. Frustratingly not recommended, Alpha Rift releases this Friday (11/19) theatrically and on-demand.