Nemesis (2021) Honest Movie Review
Following a stint abroad, gangster John Morgan (played expertly by Billy Murray) returns to London. Tensions rise as a result of the big boss’s pressure and an obsessed copper out for vengeance.
To bring his family back together, John throws a dinner party where they are supposed to meet his daughter’s girlfriend – but not everything is as it appears. As the night progresses, a deadly cat-and-mouse game ensues, culminating in vengeance and murder.
Murray plays villain Morgan with the menace of a bag of wilting soggy spinach at the back of the fridge – it’s almost as if his contract stipulates a charisma bypass is a requirement for the part. The script, which feels cobbled together from geezerish cliches, is also a letdown. An associate growls at Morgan, “You’re like a British bulldog.” “You’re arrogant, defiant, tenacious, and old-school. However, there comes a time in every animal’s life when it must be euthanized.”
When done well, British gangster films combine multifaceted characters with a solid storyline, as well as a level of shock factor and violence with a dash of the country’s distinct humour. The United Kingdom has produced renowned classics in the genre, and audiences have high hopes. With such a diverse selection of films available – especially at a time when online content has never been more popular – viewers are looking for something unique and unexpected.
Unfortunately, these two words are incompatible with Nemesis. Although the film attempts to be innovative, the plot is prescriptive and perfunctory, essentially going through the motions in its retelling of a well-known and frequently told revenge storey. This could be forgiven if viewers were treated to an entertaining ride, but they are instead bombarded with exposition.
Film is a visual medium, but viewers are bombarded with so much information about character, motivations, and backstory that it becomes difficult to maintain one’s attention. There are far too many clumsy clichés, and the majority of the characters on screen are stereotypical, bordering on caricature. Fortunately, Murray elevates the proceedings with his convincing portrayal, but his abilities only highlight many of the film’s flaws.
The vengeful cop strand appears to have legs but ultimately falls flat, with Nick Moran’s role sacrificed in favour of a plot twist. The pace picks up significantly, and the audience is treated to some exciting and unexpected twists in the intense finale, but the payoff still falls a little flat after all of the build-up.
It’s a shame, because the climax exemplifies the heights the film could have reached if it had started on all cylinders from the start. While it has a lot of potential, this slow-burn fails to pique the audience’s interest.
Watch Nemesis (2021) official trailer here: