A staple part of the British film industry has been the low budget gangster thriller, everything from Rise Of The Foot Soldier, Bonded By Blood, We Still Kill The Old Way et al and latest movie on the block is Nemesis starring Billy Murray (Eastenders, Rise Of The Foot Soldier) and Nick Moran (Lock Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, Harry Potter) as two warring rivals one a gangland boss John Morgan, the other Frank Conway a police officer that has more than a bone or two to pick with John, however John has a bunch of his own problems to deal with before worrying about Frank.
It a surprising new twist on the generic British Gangster flick, Jonathan Sothcott throws in a home invasion lilt to up the ante here. In what could have been another by the numbers thriller, this actually rises above the generic fare to be something a little different. Director James Crow has pulled together a terrific cast as well, alongside Murray and Moran are in no particular order Julian Glover and Bruce Payne, which on paper looks amazing. However the female cast in Lucy Aarden and Ambra Moore (Sir Roger Moore’s grand daughter) are simply a delight as the daughter of John Morgan, Kate (Moore) and her girlfriend Zoe (Aarden) who deserve particular praise here. Also, Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott as Morgan’s long suffering wife Sadie, puts in a really ballsy performance and handles the more physcial scenes with relative ease. But it’s Murray and Moran who carry proceedings throughout doing all the heavy lifting and you can forgive the films shortcomings when these two are around doing what they do best.
Not for one moment are you in any doubt what you are watching is a low budget movie and with it’s constraints, some of the scenes and editing seem a bit loose. However it’s quite clear that the whole cast want the film to succeed and put in their best efforts with what they have to work with. However, the same can’t be said for Danny Bear who saunters throughout the film like he’s working on a porn film set. The upside is that his character doesn’t last too long into proceedings and his impact on Nemesis is minimal.
The home invasion angle is interesting, if telegraphed a bit too soon and the reveal of motive is particularly interesting, but is punctuated by Nick Moran channeling his best Mel Gibson’s Martin Riggs of Lethal Weapon vibe suddenly arriving for his showdown in the middle of it all after a conversation with Bartender Exposition (Ricky Grover) in the middle of the film. Despite Moran being great and let’s be honest, we could sit and watch Billy Murray and Nick Moran verbally jousting for several hours, the sequence of events looks rather shoe-horned in, rather than naturally part of the story.
However, for fans of the genre, Nemesis is going to be a big hit as all the tropes are in there, guns, blood, violence, betrayal, unnecessary nudity and a lot of sneering and swearing. Nemesis manages this with a tight run time, decent cast and interesting spin on the same formula. Don’t go in expecting high production values and you may quite enjoy yourself here.