Nemesis (1992)

The 1992 Cyberpunk action thriller from the director of Cyborg and The Sword & the Sorcerer.  Nemesis starring Olivier Gruner, Tim Thomerson (Trancers), Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Mortal Kombat, Showdown in Little Tokyo), Brion James (Blade Runner, Hong Kong 97), Thomas Jane (The Mist) and Jackie Earl Haley (Watchmen, Preacher (series)). Originally written as a near futuristic thriller about a federal agent hunting a killer in the Neo-Nazi scene and then after some negotiations with an investor changed elements of the story into what is NEMESIS. Instead of Kelly Lynch or Megan Ward as the lead, we have kickboxer Olivier Gruner as our protagonist. This film is the first in the Nemesis trilogy.

The film was given a limited release theatrically in the United States by Imperial Entertainment on 29 January 1993, grossing $2,001,124 at the box office.  Not bad for a B-movie.

I’m all in. You know I like this retro-cyberpunk aesthetic; loose wires, analog screens, old school fonts, chunky metal prosthetics, gears and floppy disks, neural couriers, gats, trench coats over suits and covert corporate operations. In the future or near future there is high demand for cybernetic enhancments and with any advance in society comes the booming of a black market. Criminals acquiring androids and heavy cyborg augmentations are common place in the underworld of the decayed future. Law Enforcement with little semblance of civility have created hit squads to counter the growing population of delinquency & violence. One such deputized assassin turned triggerman for hire is Alex Raine (Gruner).

For the record, I just saw Suicide Squad in the theaters (For free, I snuck in) so I’m a bit salty; even if I saw it for free. Therefore, thank goodness I can watch this film as a night cap.

Nemesis revolves around the plot by a shadowy group threatening what little order is left in society. Alex Raine is called out of retirement by his mentor and Los Angeles Police Commissioner to complete one last mission. Alex Rain is augmented with enhancements and likes to separate himself from the other mercs with mechanics by making it clear he is "Eighty-six point five percent [of him] is still human." The mission that’s thrown at his feet takes him deep and deeper into a rabbit hole of corruption, murder and a greater evil worse than he could have ever imagined.

The style of the film will resemble Pyun’s other films in this genre, especially Cyborg. His track record is “hit or miss” depending on who you are asking. The action is very well done. The fight scenes are dated but hold up well and the gunplay is everywhere. For the budget these films ran on, it’s impressive to see what they achieved. Pyun was very honest about his budgets and always pushed what was possible to do with smaller budgets.

Soundtrack? Meh.

Written by Rebecca Charles and David Goyer (The Blade Trilogy, Dark Knight Trilogy, Dark City, Man of Steel). And although Goyer contributed to the writing he is uncredited as a writer.

 
Lock’em and load’em. It’s low budget and fast paced and pretty good for a movie that most of us only saw on VHS or late night on television. Albert Pyun’s NEMESIS is exactly what you need to gear up and get ready for the coming collapse of mundane society. The future’s so bright and I think it’s because of the radiation. Retro-cyberpunk at its most creative.

More human than human and keeping that finger firmly on the rewind button.


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