"Nemesis Game is a smart "indie" thriller, with more-than"indie" qualities. It is the story of a young woman, Sara Novak, who is a college student. Sara (Carly Pope) spends her time at a shop with Vern (Adrian Paul). At this shop Vern and Sara play games and solve riddles. That is the basic premise of Nemesis Game.
The acting in Nemesis Game is amazing. Carly Pope is great in this film. Her facial expressions add a lot to the character. Adrian Paul, who I have never seen in anything before, is also a fine actor. He plays the character of Vern very well. Rena Owen plays the insane murderer, Emily Gray. Rena takes this film to a whole new level. Her character is so in depth that I can't picture anyone else playing it. Brendan Fehr is also great, playing the mysterious "skateboarder," but his character has much more to do with the film. Ian McShane is also great as Sara's dad. The supporting cast (including: Jay Baruchel and Vanessa Guy) are also great. I do not think this film could have been better cast. The people in charge of casting this film did a wonderful job.
Jesse Warn, first time film director, directed Nemesis Game. He did a wonderful job. He also wrote the screenplay, which is so amazing. I think a director cares more about a film, and how it turns out when they write the script. The producers of this film also do an amazing job.
The plot of Nemesis Game plays out very well. So many things that you see in the beginning of the film do not seem important, but later in the film they will play a key role. The plot also has its share of twists, and that is always great in a film. You can never guess what will happen next, and you will probably even have a hard time guessing the answers to the many riddles used in the movie. Nemesis Game has the ability to keep you "on the edge of your seat" with suspense.
I would recommend this film to anyone who wants to see a great thriller, or just a good movie in general. The DVD also includes "the making of Nemesis Game," The Nemesis Game trailer, full-length commentary by the director and one of the producers, English and Spanish subtitles, trailers for two other great Lions Gate films, and it is presented in widescreen format, which I usually do not like, but the format makes Nemesis Game all the more exiting. If you do not see this film, you must be crazy. I give Nemesis Game 10 out of 10 stars (**********)."
Smart Ceberal thriller
David Blackwell | Montana, USA | 06/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I rented the NEMESIS GAME DVD last week and I can say it is one of the best thrillers I have ever watched. It revolves around a shy college student, Sara Novak(Carly Pope), and Vern Stevens(Adrian Paul) who is an older guy who works at a comic book/riddle shop. Sara and Vern have a passion for games and riddles. Sara and Vern get involved in a game of the riddles that will eventually lead to the answer to the design of the universe. One of Sara's fellow students ends up dead and Sara (and Vern) get deeper into the Nemesis Game. The movie also stars Rena Owen (as Emily Grey who tried to kill a 12 year old boy because it was part of the design), Brendan Fehr, and Ian McShane as Detective Jeff Novak. The ending is a surprise in this well shot movie done by first time film director Jesse warn (who has directed music videos in new Zeland). This is a well acted movie that features one of the best performances Adrian Paul has given as an actor. The music score is moody too.If you're looking for a good independent thriller that makes you think, buy it. If you're an Adrian Paul fan, buy it. I intend to buy this DVD soon because it is a good movie."
A Film That Tried to Be More Than Just an Indie
Armando M. Mesa | Chandler, AZ | 11/21/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"After viewing this flick I had this sense that there was more to it than meets the eye or cerebral cortex...Nope. Is it entertaining and mind boggling? To a certain degree. Just don't get your hopes up. The only thing the quick and abrupt ending accomplishes is leaving the viewer cheated; Not because there should be a neat tidy happy ending but because literally the ending will have you saying "what the..." A college girl pals around with a comic/video/music/book store owner played by Higlander's (tv series) Adrian Paul. Vern and Sara keep each other company by playing and solving riddles. However, they soon become involved in a series of deadly riddles left and led by a mysterious source. If the riddles or series of them are solved then the winner hits the jackpot by seeing what the enigmatic "design" or meaning is behind them---"see the big picture" routine (meaning of life? our universal existence? the murders? who really cares). Unfortunately, people get killed as part of the "design" and for some odd reason those who have played the game end up going nutso (or are nutso to begin with) and confessing to the murders.Unfortunately, once the viewer finds out or doesn't really find out why the killings take place (other than to continue what was started by an ancient Buddhist monk,a.k.a Nemesis) there really is nothing deep or shocking...Also, why is it then whenever some people see an indie film they always have to read too deep into it or rave about it's greatness. When a film is bad or lacks something, it's because it is bad and lacks something...I too enjoy indie films. But, just like your mainstream Hollywood stuff some indie films cannot always escape from the fact that it was bad or lacking. Nemesis Game is not the worst I have seen and is not the best. Paul can act but he keeps pretty much low keyed these days with these low budget Canadian productions. Carly Pope does an amazing job with what she was given. But she could have gone further given more intense or intellectually stimulating material...3 stars for great acting and a plot or story that started out with great promise but...well, you decide."
Good movie ruined by a bad ending
Justin Kennedy | NY | 05/17/2004
(3 out of 5 stars)
"It beat my expectations I can say that much. Actually I thought it was really good while I was watching it, I was very interested in the story line and how it would end. BUT unfortunately they go ahead and ruin it with basically no ending. You are left with too many questions. It just leaves you hanging, which would be fine if they were planning on making a sequel, but we know thats not happening. So I have it at 3 stars, I took a star off because of the ending."
Great concept, weak ending...
GLBT | Illinois | 10/31/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"The idea behind this movie is very cool... that there is a "design" or pattern to every single thing that happens in life and that it is possible to "see" this design and your place within it by solving certain riddles.Sara and Vern are both particularly anxious to find this hidden design because they are both people who have suffered horrible losses in life and who want desperately to find some "reason" for these disasters. This obsessive need to understand/find the design leads them into this bizarre world of hidden riddles and seemingly random murders. And once they get pulled into it, there's no getting out.There's a lot to like about this movie. It's clever, well acted, and it moves along at a good pace. The problem is that the ending is much too abrupt and doesn't really answer any of the questions that have been set up. Mind you, a certain degree of ambiguity at the end of a movie is fine... sometimes it's best to end a story without a pat resolution to everything that's happened. But in this particular case, it isn't a feeling of ambiguity so much as a sense that the writer of the film didn't really know where to go with it. It just ends...For those who appreciate a cerebral thriller, "Nemesis Game" is a perfectly entertaining 90 minutes. There's a lot to like about this movie; just don't expect too much. It's good, but it falls short of what it could have been."