Friday, May 15, 2009
Friday Night Blog Double Feature Pt. 2 Nemesis
As PLANET GRIFFIN continues with tonight's blog double feature, and continuing the subject on the Action Hero Genre, we take a quick trip through the wayback machine to blow the dust off a B movie masterpiece that went largely unnoticed upon its initial straight to video release back in 1993, but is making a surprise resurgence back into the spotlight--- Ladies and Gentlemen, Albert Pyun's action classic, NEMESIS!
Originally created as a role for Jean Claude Van Damme (JCVD respectfully declined, mumbling something about shooting a movie with John Woo...), Action director Albert Pyun had to quickly find a replacement to appease the Straight to Video B Kings of the early 90's, Imperial Entertainment... Enter Kickboxing champion Olivier Gruner as the hybrid cyborg cop Alex Raines, out to stop a growing conspiracy where cyborgs will soon take over the world (a la' Terminator), and in his quest, discovers that sometimes it pays to be more than human.
This is what I refer to as a 'Perfect Midnight Beer Movie'--- Despite the wooden acting by many of the players involved ( including a hilarious gang leader played by North Carolina's own Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa , B genre king Tim Thomerson, and one of the final screen roles for 'Blade Runner' Brion James), this B movie love letter to the sci-fi/action genre is actually alot of fun! Director Pyun's hit (and sometimes miss) formula to the action scenes is what really makes this movie tick... And move!
Utilizing various tricks from master filmmakers Woo (for the gunplay) and Raimi (for the camera movements), Pyun wastes not one shot in attempting to maximize Gruner as a cyborg badass!
(Oh yeah, as you watch the film, you'll notice certain sequences that would later be lifted 10 years for another small action movie known as UNDERWORLD)
Don't get me wrong, Nemesis is hardly perfect by any means. The action is relentless, inventive, and fun ( which means that the film review blurbs on the VHS cover is dead on accurate) yes, but the biggest problem is Pyun's inability to tap into the character material and make any headway into the subject matter, which can make the story lag until the next action scene. Interestingly enough, the plot of the film is open-ended enough to take it in far better directions than it does. (If I could remake this as a comic adaptation, I would do it in a minute--- Hmmm...) In the hands of a great writer/director team, this would be an easy seat-filler in any movie house--- but until the remake, it easily earns the title of 'Late Nite Grindhouse'!
Check out the trailer above, then check out the opening 10 minute action sequence of the flick.
This concludes PLANET GRIFFIN's blog double feature for the evening ( you did remember to scroll down to Part Ones' EXPENDABLES preview, right??)--- Stay tuned for upcoming installments where anything and everything is possible !