Archie Andrews and his pals are reunited in this tepid, live-action TV movie based on the long-running series of Archie comic books.
Fifteen years after graduation, the alumni of Riverdale High attend their reunion. Wealthy sexpot Veronica Lodge (Karen Kopins) jets in from Paris after discovering her former beau Archie Andrews (Christopher Rich) will be there. Sweet Betty Cooper (Lauren Holly), a teacher, is bringing along her
boyfriend, Bob (Matt McCoy), who's jealous over Betty's past romance with Archie. Archie is now a lawyer; his fiancee, Pam (Christina Haag), can't understand Archie's nostalgia for his teen years. Wacky Jughead Jones (Sam Whipple) is a psychiatrist who can't connect with his son, Jordan (Billy
Cohen). Sleazy Reggie Mantle (Gary Kroeger) has been taking over Riverdale with his many businesses, including a fitness center next to the chocolate shop run by Pops Tate (Mike Nussbaum).
Veronica and Betty immediately vie for Archie's affections. But Archie is focused on the impending eviction of Pops, who may lose his shop so that Reggie can expand his fitness empire. Archie becomes Pops's lawyer and convinces Judge Brown (Raye Birk) to oversee a trial on the weekend. At the
trial, the judge reveals that Reggie is a pawn for Veronica's father (James Noble) and rules in favor of eviction. The gang tries to smile through their sorrow when they perform as their band, the Archies, at a reunion party. The concert ends with the announcement that Pops is confronting the
wrecking crew at his shop; everyone rushes to Pops's side, where Mr. Lodge's chauffeur (Monty Bane) hands Archie a package containing a bomb. After Veronica throws an emotional tantrum, Mr. Lodge orders the crew to retreat. The bomb explodes just after Archie tosses it away, decimating Reggie's
fitness center. The next morning, Archie's fiancee takes off with Betty's boyfriend. Archie goes to Pops's shop, where he's joined by Betty, Veronica, Jughead, and Reggie. They all choose to stay in Riverdale and restart their lives.
Packaged in a clamshell box, the 1997 home-video release of this 1990 TV movie appears to be geared toward the younger set. But the talky, choppy, adult-skewed narrative on the tape within will leave young viewers cold. A lengthy out-of-control-car escapade and obligatory wiseacre kid (Billy
Cohen, who spends most of his screen time leering at the ladies) can't liven up the proceedings, and a rap performance of "Sugar Sugar" will have viewers of all ages groaning.
If anything, casting director Sally Stiner can be credited with making some canny choices. Kopins (HOLLYWOOD MADAM) and Holly (DUMB AND DUMBER, TURBULENCE) are believable adult versions of their comic-book counterparts, and Rich (THE JOY LUCK CLUB) embodies Archie with expected frat-boy blandness.
"Saturday Night Live" alumnus Kroeger easily inspires dread as Reggie, and stalwarts Whipple and the late David Doyle (in brief cameos as good old Mr. Weatherbee) are rather endearing. Still, even the most devoted fans of Archie comics may find their attentions waning soon after the opening
credits. (Sexual situations.)
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- Released: 1990
- Rating: PG
- Review: Archie Andrews and his pals are reunited in this tepid, live-action TV movie based on the long-running series of Archie comic books. Fifteen years after graduation, the alumni of Riverdale High attend their reunion. Wealthy sexpot Veronica Lodge (Karen Ko… (more)