Updated: Mar 24
Directed by: #TimEarnheart
Written by: Tim Earnheart
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Nemesis Movie Review
Visual style is #filmmaker Tim Earnheart’s bag. The guy just knows how to deliver a film full of spectacle and arresting set pieces. His full-throttle approach to action filmmaking is no less toned down in his latest short film Nemesis, starring Esha More and Joy Park as two college friends who have just merged their business so they can “compete with the big boys”.
More plays Astrid, a self-confident businesswoman who is celebrating the recent merger with her pal Evelyn (Park) by having a few drinks. It becomes clear, however, that the latter is not as chuffed with the situation and the two endure a tense atmosphere before Evelyn mentions an exclusive hunting event she is planning on going to. Astrid manages to wrangle an invite and soon finds herself in front of Dr Woo (S. Joe Downing) who enlightens our cocky entrepreneur about the nature of their exclusive club, and things get very business (not personal) from there.
With his 2019 short film Ricochet, Earnheart used the home invasion genre to full and explosive effect. With Nemesis, he’s playing with sci-fi and survival tropes, films like The Hunger Games and Battle Royale come to mind, and there is even something video-gamey to the piece, although the protagonists are considerably more wealthy and powerful. A less is more approach to the dialogue would have been appreciated - Astrid finds time to deliver some outrageous one-liners which, whilst lol-worthy (“Let me give you a hand?”) did undermine the momentum of the movie considerably, and the initial exchange between the two central characters in the bar felt clunky. However, once the LED lights kick in and we meet the other players in the hunting “game”, we are hooked.
It was great to see kick-ass action from a female character where her gender was not integral to the plot. Esha More is an engaging lead when not grappling with flawed lines and a stripped-down script could have seen this as one of the best action performances in a short this year. As it is, it is still a strong and noteworthy turn. Joy Park gives a formidable and layered portrayal, offering a character who perhaps needs a feature-length to fully explore.
Whilst the dialogue needs to be less is more, other aspects, it should be noted, need to be more is more. It's a lot of fun. The visceral style and flair that Earnheart displays is the true hero in Nemesis. Everything about the cinematography (Matt Fleming), sound design (Dylan Banuchi and Earnheart), and tone is hyper-tuned to feel fist-pumpingly ferocious. All sins get forgiven when you are exposed to the short film’s intensely enjoyable atmosphere of thrills, kills, and spills, so much so that the intriguing final moments of the piece will leave you gasping for a sequel, a feature, anything else.