In the industrial wasteland just outside of Los Angeles, circa 2027, there's a covert war raging between the cyborgs and the humans. "86.5% is still human," insists superagent Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme wannabe Olivier Gr... more »uner, complete with kickboxing credentials and thick Euro-warble), but as the cyborg conspiracy builds around him he discovers that humanity is more than simply a matter of flesh and blood. Borrowing elements from Blade Runner, The Terminator, Escape from New York, and The Road Warrior, and looking ahead to digital "data couriers" of Johnny Mnemonic, director Albert Pyun turns the sci-fi spy story into an engine for a visceral thrill ride of sleekly designed action sequences driven by a dancing camera and a breakneck editing rhythm. It's a glorious triumph of style over substance, the vigorous pace leaving the story far behind and nimble set pieces belying a tiny budget with ambitious action choreography and impressive displays of property damage. Apart from a few clumsy special effects at the conclusion and the requisite collection of scene-chewing performances, Nemesis is a thoroughly entertaining piece of sci-fi trash, a classic example of cinematic energy overcoming the obstacles of plot. --Sean Axmaker« less
"An Albert Pyun production can threaten the mental stability of even the most diehard B movie fan. This director is a master of cheesy, low budget films loaded with hammy acting, molasses like pacing, and terrible scripts. As far as I know, there are only two Pyun films really worth watching: the early 1980s sword and sandal picture "The Sword and The Sorcerer" and this movie, the 1993 science fiction thriller "Nemesis." Two good movies out of a slew of stinkers doesn't mean I wouldn't watch any of his clunkers, though. If anything, a bad movie always promises to deliver a few laughs. Anyway, Pyun's name is synonymous with junk in B movie circles. Just scan some of the movie review sites on the Internet and laugh out loud at the abrasive comments aimed in Al's direction. The success of "Nemesis" eventually led to several sequels, each a victim of diminishing returns. The first one is a winner worth watching, but still contains plenty of plot holes for the discerning viewer to giggle over.Los Angeles cop Alex Rain works hard to break up crime rings and terrorist groups. It's the year 2027, and humanity has changed quite a bit in the near future. It appears that technology dominates, with doctors capable of implanting robotic machinery directly into the human body. In 2027, you've got millions of people ambling around the country with implants, many of them more machine than human. The growing numbers and strength of these cyborgs is starting to become a real problem for the rest of humanity. Eventually, some people fed up with the increasingly metallic composition of the population form resistance groups to fight the growing cyborgs. It is Alex Rain's job to help keep the peace, and to bring in these people when they break the law. After all, killing a cyborg is still a crime since most of these creatures still possess a significant percentage of human parts. Many of Alex Rain's fellow police officers have machine implants. Actually, Rain himself has a few parts in him, too. In the future, it is just too difficult to discern who is completely human and who isn't, and it's about to get much harder. After a lengthy opening sequence that shows us how Alex ends up in retirement, the movie starts in earnest.Rain's old boss, Farnsworth, approaches him about a new mission. The United States and Japan have decided to merge into one country (a process not unusual in the near future, according to the movie). A cyborg that worked with the police rebelled against the system and took some important information about the merger with her to Java, where she is presently hiding out while attempting to contact a terrorist organization named the Hammerheads. Rain, who has a contentious history with this sexy cyborg, must go to Java and kill her in order to retrieve this critical information. Rain reluctantly goes for reasons made obvious in the film, and soon discovers that things are not quite what they seem. It turns out that the mission Farnsworth sent Rain on is merely a cover for a much more important mission involving the fate of the planet, humanity, and the cyborgs. We don't find this out for some time, and until we do, the movie does tend to confuse the viewer. Not to worry, though, as you can content yourself with the bevy of beautiful women wearing tight skirts, some nudity, massive amounts of gunfire, and a healthy dose of bloody special effects. "Nemesis" may well rank as one of the most violent shoot 'em ups made in the last few years. The movie contains elements that reminded me of both "The Terminator" and "The Matrix," although I wouldn't go so far as to say that "Nemesis" serves a bridge between those two movies. I will say that if you love films overflowing with huge guns and a super high body count, you will love this Pyun picture.The plot zips along at mach speed, but the acting often fails to engage. Lead star Oliver Gruner, a French actor who must have once been on the same "up and coming action star" list as Jean Claude Van Damme, tanks as the tough yet caring cop Alex Rain. I suspect Gruner graduated from the Joe Dallesandro School of acting because his wooden expressions to some extent resemble those of the co-star of "Blood for Dracula" and "Flesh for Frankenstein." The female stars take second fiddle, and are usually on screen to serve as eye candy for the mostly young male audience that would watch a film like this one. At least "Nemesis" gives us the ever reliable Tim Thomerson in the role of Farnsworth, along with late B movie star Brion James as one of Farnsworth's sidekicks. James's pseudo German accent alone makes this movie worth watching. In fact, I doubt I would have even watched this movie if I hadn't known beforehand that Thomerson and James appeared in it.The DVD gives us several extras, including a trailer and some behind the scenes action about the film. The extras list said there were a few television spots, but when I selected that option, I got more behind the scenes footage. At least the transfer is decent, although it isn't as good as it should be. Colors occasionally look washed out, and there are a few rips on the print. Overall, I give a hearty round of applause to Albert Pyun. It is going to be tougher for me to criticize this guy after watching "Nemesis." The movie not only entertains, it is entertaining enough to watch again. This picture just goes to show that even a hack filmmaker can turn out a great treat every now and again."
Great Merle kennedy performance
George H. Wells | Hauppauge, New York United States | 12/28/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a great action film. I don't know if it borrowed from what had been done before but it was exciting. It was the first time I saw a hero slide backwards, on his back, down a hill, and shoot at the persuers as they came over the hill after him.
Olivier Gruner's performance has been criticized for lacking range. I thought his deadpan, stoic emphasis was JUST RIGHT for this role: a cyborg.
Merle Kennedy was a delight. This was the first time I had seen this actress, and she is marvellous as "Max Impact." She knows how to act. Her only other BIG roles are in Night of the Demons 2 and Perry Mason The case of the Heartbroken(?) Bride. She also played a drug addict in one of the best early episodes of E. R. (tv series)."
A solid release for a solid film.
George H. Wells | 03/22/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Low-budget action doesn't get much better than this. NEMESIS is a good-looking, hard-fighting SF adventure that delivers on every level, from character development to plot. Considering that the film had no theatrical run, it's really solid stuff that will not disappoint.The DVD release of NEMESIS is surprisingly good, considering the direct-to-video origins of this, writer/director Albert Pyun's finest film. A crisp transfer with a nice (though small) collection of extras, including a making-of promotional reel reminiscent of the "VideoZone" features once included on Full Moon Pictures' DTV releases. Cast and crew bios, plus television and "theatrical" trailers round out the package, and one comes away from the DVD feeling as if it was definitely worth the money."
B-MOVIE LOVERS DELIGHT
no longer a customer | 06/14/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This is one of those sci-fi movies that is so bad you'll fall in love with it; (Blade Runner is deeply maligned when this film is compared to it.) Sometimes on your days off from work you just wanna see a good shoot'em up movie with lots of Cyborg bad-guys and slapstick dialogue and beefcake/cheesecake heroes. If you're looking for approximately 90 minutes of pure escapist trashy fun, here's your answer."
WOw i was surprised at this one.
no longer a customer | 05/08/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well now, where do we start? The dialogue is awesome, its so messed up its like at some points, you can't figure out what he's saying. Thats crazy as hell! The violence and cheapness make this one a hilarious treat to true action fans that other reviewer watched this one too early :) Ya gotta be a little clouded when viewing this jem. Olivier Gruner is the best action hero hell yea!"