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Nemesis film review

Directed by: #JamesCrow

Written by: #AdamStephenKelly


I started Nemesis thinking it may end up sitting alongside countless other British gangster flicks as a bit of a guilty pleasure. Instead, I came away just feeling guilty for having watched it. This tiresome cliché-filled mess is eye-rollingly bad – an at-times detestable example of the worst of British cinema.

John Morgan (Billy Murray), an aging gangster, returns to London from abroad with retirement plans in mind. But a down-on-his-luck copper with a score to settle, Frank Conway (Nick Moran), has got the drop on him and is determined to take him down. As Morgan unveils his plans to his family, a power struggle begins to form. And at a dinner held to meet his daughter Kate’s (Ambra Moore) new girlfriend Zoe (Lucy Aarden), the consequences of his dark actions return to threaten everyone…

Nemesis is terrible. The acting is terrible – with brit-flick veterans like Billy Murray and Nick Moran practically on geezer autopilot whilst fresher faces like Lucy Aarden and Ambra Moore are left directionless. The ‘story’ is terrible - incoherent nonsense compiled of random plot-twists and set-pieces that receive zero build-up. And the production is cheap and shoddy, with laughably bad takes that suggest everyone involved just wanted this whole thing to be done with as soon as possible.

The script deserves a particular noting for how dreadful it is. The dialogue is comprised almost entirely of worn-out, growled entendres about ‘the business’, or endless rambling monologues from characters determined to lay out their entire life story to the person they are supposedly desperate to kill. It is baffling just how long certain scenes drag on for. If you told me the director dozed off without shouting ‘cut!’ I would believe you - and I wouldn’t blame him either.

The sheer amount of garbage on-screen could almost place the film in the Wiseau zone of so-bad-it’s-good. But the film has a quite repugnant heart to it that leaves you feeling angry towards it, rather than pitiful. Veteran viewers of brit-gangster flicks will be used to gratuitous swearing, and the script is carpet-bombed with F and C words to the point where they lose all meaning. The film’s depiction of women however is particularly vile, with every female character a personality vacuum that shares the same voice - until one randomly turns psychotic and then into an Antifa warrior for some reason. And that’s not to mention one of the most pointless, sleazy and outright uncomfortable nude scenes in recent memory. The film is practically Zoo magazine come to life.

Positives of the film are few and far between. Conway’s conversation with a barman at his lowest ebb is one of the film’s better scenes (being boring and forgettable, rather than cringeworthy). He is painted effectively as the film’s only redeemable character and seems destined for an emotional confrontation with his old foe. This is all swiftly undone at the end of course as his storyline is rendered utterly pointless by the film’s need to satisfy its most ludicrous twist. Beyond that, unless you really like hearing cockneys deliver F-bombs, there is nothing here worth withstanding the rest of the film for – and if that is your thing, you’re better off just hanging around the Olympic Stadium at around 5:30pm on a Saturday.

For what should’ve been no-brainer, by-the-numbers gangster film #873, Nemesis is boring, lazy and derivative – and that is it at it’s best. At its worst it is an offensive, nasty relic that verges on torture porn. The real torture is the one the audience is subjected to.

Nemesis will be available from 29th March on DVD here and Digital Download


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