An adventure is difficult to endure when it’s lacking thrills or fun.  A film made by unenthused people is hard for an audience member to get wrapped up in.  Antidote, a supernatural thriller starring mixed martial arts powerhouse Randy Couture, is an example of both unsavoury moviegoing situations.

Two stories meet at a crossroads in Mexico when medical humanitarians (Natali Yura, Rafael de la Fuente) team up with an unconventional team of scruffy treasure hunters (Couture, Chuck Zito) to search into the legend of the “White Witch”.  Together, they are eager find the root of a disease outbreak affecting mothers and children, along with the satisfying payday the “White Witch” may be hiding.  The ruffians are more concerned about the latter.

It’s slim pickings for movie goers wanting to choose someone to root for in Antidote.  Fuente is underwritten in an average role and he hardly earns the audience’s attention, while Yura gives a whiny, uncoordinated performance as she struggles to maintain a strong on-screen presence while also channeling a softer, sympathetic side to her character.  Hardly putting any effort into his performance, Couture looks more fit to flip houses than to beat people up as he treks through Mexico.  And considering how the film touts him as a rugged action star, his neutral approach to this heroic role is all wrong.  As for Zito, he’s simply tickled to be sharing the screen with such a famous athlete – he’s Scrappy Doo to Couture’s Scooby.

Antidote is not so badly directed as it is badly produced; allowing editor Sandra Dillon to butcher the film with choppy rigour and layers of aggressive stylized effects.  Couture is a former UFC champion. Even though he’s slumming it here, he doesn’t need additional post-production assistance to convince the audience that he could win a fight.

The villain is also misrepresented in this messy flick.  I liked the design of the “White Witch” and the powers she has over residents of Mexico City.  But, her potential to be truly menacing gets lost in a wash of superficial, silly hutzpah.  We’re not scared by what she’ll do next.  We’re wondering why an anvil hasn’t landed on her head by the third act.


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Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie

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