Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)

REVIEW BY: Jeffrey Long

COMPANY: Imperial Entertainment

RUNTIME: 87 mins


PLOT: 76 years after the first movie, cyborgs have taken over the world and enslaved the human race. The human freedom fighters' scientists create a genetically-engineered superhuman as a secret weapon against the cyborgs, but during an ambush they must instead send her back in time to hide her, but she's soon followed by a cyborg bounty hunter.

REVIEW: I know everyone warned me to stay away from Nemesis 2: Nebula and the other Nemesis sequels, but I wanted to check them out for myself anyway. 1, Bad movies are my forte' so if you tell me to stay way from something because it's a bad movie – that just sparks my interest even more. 2, the original director/writer did all four Nemesis movies so that has me interested. 3, I'm a completest. When I sit down to watch a movie, no matter how bad the others are, if there are more in the series I have to watch them.

And to be honest? I didn't find this nearly as bad as everyone makes it out to be. Sure, when compared to the first movie, it's not very good, but as a stand alone movie I found it quite entertaining and really, it has next to nothing to do with the first movie anyway beyond using is as a bit of background information on the state of the future, so it really has no need to be compared with it.

Following the events of the first movie, a full-on war started between cyborgs and humans in which the humans lost. After decades of slavery, scientists working with the human freedom fighters finally manage to create a superhuman – a female baby that will grow up to be stronger and faster then the average human, and have quick reflexes to fight back against the cyborgs with. However, shortly after being born, the labs are ambushed by a cyborg strike team and one human manages to escape with the baby (the baby is named Alex in memory of the 'human hero' from the start of the war; a blink-and-you'll-miss-it reference to the main character of the first movie). To escape, she steals a cyborg time traveling vehicle and ends up in East Africa in the 1980's - right in the middle of a civil war. When the female adult is killed by a group of rebels, the baby is taken in by a local tribe of Natives and is raised as one of their own. Cut forward to her early 20's and the cyborgs from the future finally managed to track her location in time and sends back a bounty hunter named Nebula, which heavily resembles a Predator rip-off, to track her down in the East African desert and kill her.

The Alex in this movie is played by a rather tough-looking and quite large female bodybuilder...which actually makes sense. After all, mankind's great weapon against the machines – a genetically-engineered superhuman - isn't going to exactly be small, thin as a stick, and meek. This isn't the sleek-and-sexy-looking Resident Evil or Underworld franchises, this is the low-budget dark and gritty Nemesis franchise. And since they hired her based off her size and stature...well, her acting (or lack there-of. Seriously, she hardly has any lines in the entire movie) leaves a bit to be desired. But she wasn't hired for her acting ability and her character wasn't genetically-engineered for a good conversation, so it makes sense. Both her and her character are in the movie for purely one reason: to kick cyborg ass. And in that regard, she does it perfectly.

Other then her, the only other main character really is the silent-but-deadly Bounty Hunter creature. Despite being called a cyborg, it comes across much more as some kind of flesh-and-blood creature or alien then it does a mechanical robot, and it talks even less then Alex does. That is to say, apart from some growls, snarls, and roars, there are only two scenes in the entire movie where it actually speaks – and oddly enough to great comedic effect (whether on-purpose or not). When it does speak, it's with a fluent British accent, totally going against the animalistic beast-like nature it was portrayed with during the entire movie. It also seemed to shop at the same Army Surplus store as the Predators from the Predator movies; it can bend light to make itself look near-invisible or distort your vision when you look at it or something like that (never really made clear what that effect was all about), it can record and playback video and audio, it can change the style of view it has, and it has a shoulder cannon that fires blue energy blasts. With it being a bounty hunter, it's also an expert hunter and tracker. But in it's very short defense, at least it's design was a bit original and it didn't really look much like a Predator. Although we hardly get to see it beyond a quick-moving blue blur for most of the movie, until a few good shots of it at the very end during the climatic fight.

Where-in the first movie we got many different kinds of scenery; post-apocalyptic wasteland, extensive city, small town, Japanese jungle – This one, except the first five minutes which takes place in a post-apocalyptic Cyborg-controlled city (and is made up almost entirely of re-used stock footage from the first movie), is all set pretty much in one location – the East African desert. It makes the movie feel a lot more small-scale then it's predecessor. Still, I actually liked the desert landscape, if for nothing more then it didn't give Alex many places to run and hide, thus leading to more kick-ass action scenes. The movie didn't have much of a plot other then Alex trying to escape the bounty hunter, coming across a group of people (depending on the group, some try to help her while others try to capture her for their own reasons), said group of people get killed, Alex tries to escape the Bounty Hunter again, repeat. When a movie is like that, the action scenes are really all it has going for it and thankfully there are plenty, though none of them reach the level of awesome that the action scenes from the first movie were at, but they're still pretty good in their own low-budget right.

There are some aspects that make no sense at all though – like if the Cyborgs have time travel devices, and they finally managed to track down the point in time that Alex was sent back to, then why send the Nebula bounty hunter to 20 years later, instead of to the point where the baby initially arrived and thus was still a baby instead of a superhuman cyborg-killing adult? But in movies such as these, you're not really supposed to think too much about the gaping plotholes, I guess.

My one real big issue however, apart from the above-mentioned inconsistencies when it comes to the Nebula bounty hunter, is that the movie ends without any real ending. Alex kills the bounty hunter and then drives off in a jeep. The End. She's still stuck in the past while her present/our future burns under the control of the cyborg menace, and they will no doubt continue to send cyborg troops back in time to kill her when this one fails to return. I hear that Nemesis 3: Time Lapse is made entirely of scrapped footage from this movie – they had filmed way too much and had to cut much of it (including many characters and entire plots) in order to get this one down to a reasonable runtime and so they used all that cut footage to make another movie. I'm not sure how well that will play out on-screen, but I'm looking forward to finding out.

7/10 rooms in the Psych Ward


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