(Albert Pyun, USA, 1993)


Although there were probably still a few cultural consumers in 1993 wondering what the heck cyberpunk was, Nemesis weighed in as a B movie which merrily took everything about this SF genre for granted.

In a decaying future, society has degenerated into warring tribes, personalities fit onto computer chips, and everyone seems to be a composite of humanity and machinery.

Where in Blade Runner (1982), Harrison Ford agonised over the metaphysics of identity, here the characters hardly slow down between bouts of gunfire to throw out pearls of wisdom like: "It pays to be more than human."

Olivier Gruner is an upcoming action star in the Jean-Claude Van Damme mode, and he alternates (somewhat disconcertingly) between looking like a sleek, corporate businessman and a long-haired, bare-chested Tarzan.

Director Albert Pyun has made several rather slapdash post-apocalypse action movies (including Cyborg [1989] and Radioactive Dreams [1985]), but by now he is a wily B movie operator who makes highly effective use of locations and works well with the broad strokes of character and drama.

Only some of the actors and the final, bargain basement special effects let Nemesis down.

© Adrian Martin January 1994

Film Critic: Adrian Martin
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