Nemesis is a strange beast of a film. For the first half you think it’s going to be just a family drama involving organized crime, but as the runtime counts on the narrative gets flipped. This isn’t a spoiler as much as a saving grace because, if I’m honest, the crime family drama as a genre is all over the place. There are for sure some great ones, but there are also some not so good ones and Nemesis was making a straight run to the latter category. The change in perspective helped make me far more interested in the story and the ultimate outcome.
John Morgan returns to London for a few days to take care of a few things which include meeting his daughter’s girlfriend for the first time. Since John is the head of a crime syndicate, things don’t go as planned. Disgraced cop Frank Conway feels that John killed his father, another crime boss gives not so veiled threats for John to leave, and we also have the strained relationship between John and his brother Richard. With all these threads, everything comes to head during a family dinner that ends up changing everything.
One area the Nemesis falters is the acting, while not inherently bad, it is all over the place in quality. John Morgan (Billy Murray) knocks it out of the park, he’s able to show a caring father while still being ruthless as needed. We also get Frank Conway (Nick Moran) as the cop who went into a downward spiral, though he spouts almost every “cop playing by his own rules” line you can think of, but this is fault of the writing, not the acting. Another great standout is Zoe (Lucy Aarden), she comes into her own as the girlfriend of Kate (Ambra Moore) and becomes almost as captivating as Billy Murray.
The camera and audio work is generally not bad. There are some great shots of London that showcase how pretty it can be. The camera suffers in later scenes since the film becomes more confined to indoors. The audio experiences a similar fate, with the dialog and soundtrack being clear towards the beginning but become a little muddled and tough to hear by the end. Neither of these flat out sink the film, but they are noticeable.
Nemesis was a pleasant surprise with great performances from Billy Murray and Lucy Aarden, as well as a plot that takes a few turns you might not expect (even if those turns don’t always land). The first half has an okay plot but good cinematography while the second half almost feels like a completely different movie, with a stronger plot but the technical aspects show strain. I do think this sudden shift helped elevate Nemesis, but I could see how it could cause a WTF moment if you don’t realize whats going to happen. Overall, the movie took chances with most of them paying off. If you’re looking for something different than you’re average crime drama, Nemesis isn’t a bad one to check out.
7 out of 10