Nemesis (1993)

Rating: ***
Director: Albert Pyun
Cast: Olivier Gruner, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Marjorie Monaghan, Deborah Shelton

A surprisingly good low budget sci-fi actioner about a cybernetically enhanced L.A.P.D officer named Alex (Olivier Gruner) who gets blackmailed into recovering some technical data from a bunch of underground hooligans led by Cary Tagawa. But everything turns out to be a big double-cross and it's up to Alex to stay alive long enough to get the data to the right people and put the wrong people out of commission. Mindless fun with some impressive effects and action set pieces, the most notable being the opening gun fight featuring John Woo-like cinematography and two sexy gun-toting chicks (it's a pity the really hot one bites it so soon). Although Gruner has an impressive look, physique, and martial arts training, his acting and delivery are laughably inadequate. Throw in some gratuitous cyborg nudity courtesy of Deborah Shelton (the only one of the bunch who CAN act) and the package is complete. Much like Albert Pyun's earlier effort "Cyborg" (1989), he has done a fantastic job of finding and dressing up dilapidated and half destroyed buildings in order to create a spectacular futuristic environment. If you don't go in expecting much, you'll be pleasantly surprised.

Notes on the director's dut: Actually, I saw the director's cut first, and didn't see the original cut until years later. The most noteable difference between the two is that the original cut features an insulting narration by Marjorie Monaghan, which completely spoils the atmosphere of the film. Very similar to the original theatrical cut of "Blade Runner" (1982) in that the producers of the film assumed that viewers are idiots and need to have everything explained to them. Oddly enough, I've only seen the director's cut on VHS, and not on DVD or laserdisc. The DVD does even further injustice to the film by not being letterboxed.