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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 2 January 2004
Usually, whilst watching films, be it in the cinema, video or DVD for the first time, I have them made. I see all the hidden twists and turns, and I can suss out exactly what's going to happen. Nemesis Game took me by surprise. It's a film I really sank my teeth into.
Carly Pope, who has the lead as Sara Novak, pulls off an excellent role. She takes you along her journey as she discovers a dark and twisted path. She's one of my favourite actresses, and when you watch this you'll see why.
I would recommend Nemesis Game to anyone, except those who aren't interested in real movies. It's something that will keep you thinking, and might even make you look at a fair few things differently.
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on 28 May 2004
When I read the back of the box, I thought: this could be something; promising story, for one, and I think it's good to see Adrian Paul out of the "Highlander context". Unfortunately, it just feels that this movie has been made a dozen times already, and ten times better. I don't think the writers of the story really understood their own story, it just lacks any consistency and logic. Perhaps they just thought: "we'll just make it as fuzzy and foggy as we can, no matter it doesn't make sense, but at least the viewer will say: 'what an interesting movie, make's you think' while actually thinking 'did I miss something?'". You won't miss anything not seeing this movie.
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VINE VOICEon 13 May 2004
Question: When is a film about a game a philosophical treatise?
Answer: When the film in question is Nemesis Game. In the first scene he appears in Vern says, "Everything has meaning or nothing has meaning". This is either a profoundy philosophical statement or a deeply meaningless one. Which is it? This riddle is explored throughout the story, a story which is full of unexpected twists and turns that delights in playing with the viewer's preconceptions. As soon as you think the story is heading in one direction it takes another. The film does not provide many or easy answers and the ones it does give are distubing and raise even more questions. It is at times profoundly philosophical and (for me anyway) nvokes the writings about the philosophy of Existentialism of Jean-Paul Sartre. Sartre says that "Existence preceded essence" meaning that people create themselves both as individuals and as a species and therefore have to accept responsibility for their individual and collective acts. For that responsibility to have any meaning there must be a reason why those actions were performed. This concept is explored in a film that is atmospheric to the nth degree and is at time deeply unsettling. It is not possible to give details as almost all the details are essential plot points and spoilers are just that! The cast in this film are all excellent: Ian McShane does a fine job of portraying a man who is both a cop and Sara's father, who tries and fails to understand both his daughter and what is going on. Carly Pope gives a wonderful portrayal of an unsympathetic character who is so tied up in her own grief that she does not really relate to anyone or anything around her, least of all her father's decision to go on with his life after the death of her mother in an accident. Adrian Paul as Vern shows that he is an actor who refuses to be locked into the formal "hero" role. Vern has his peculiarities and allows himself to be sucked into a situation that he knows is potentially very dangerous, he is out of his depth but cannot stop as he has to know the answer as to what the "Game" is all about, what the Design is, and he finds out.
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on 11 July 2004
Every now and then a movie comes along that had little, if any, promotion upon its release and so fell into obscurity - yet turns out to be far better than most Hollywood blockbuster offerings.
I think this is one of them.
The storyline is orginal and very clever - one in which you can play along as you watch the movie: trying to solve the riddles within the story as well as the twists in the plot.
The ending is not just a clever twist, but also a riddle in itself.
Confused?
You should be - that's the point of the movie!
A young women, bored with life, hooks up with an eccentric Adrian Paul who provides her with a little excitement: by posing riddles which she must solve - not just in her head, but for real.
One day, she finds such a riddle left for her to solve but this time it is from a dark and sinister source. The source of the riddle promises that, if one solves enough riddles in time, you will be given answers to life's greatest riddles such as our very existence.
Drawn into the game - the young woman soon starts to question her involvement as people die and the threat closes in on her that she may well be next.
This is one of those movies that's stayed with me - whose storyline was so intriguing that I can't stop trying to unravel it even months after watching it.
I thoroughly enjoyed this - far more than most of the recent Hollywood offerings that got bathed in publicity.
I am pleased to own this one as it's definitely one I will re-watch time and again.
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Personally, I hate riddles - but the characters in this movie certainly love them. College student Sara Novak (Carly Pope) spends her nights wandering through seedy parts of town trying to solve riddles/puzzles assigned to her by her own little riddle guru, comic book store owner Vern (Adrian Paul). It's all fun and games of course (well, games, anyway - I can't say any of it was fun) until someone gets hurt (or violently murdered). It turns out that there's a much bigger game in town, one that promises enlightenment to whoever makes his/her way to the end. Ultimate insight into the Design is not easily won, however - this is a most dangerous game.

Vern is none too happy to discover that Sara has started playing the Nemesis game, ostensibly because players either end up dead or stark raving mad (even the winners). If ever there were a game where nobody really wins, it's this one. As if the whole concept of the Nemesis game isn't bad enough, watching Sara and Vern go about their riddle-obsessed lives is torturously boring. The only halfway interesting person in the entire film is one of Sara's classmates who (for reasons I can't fathom) actually finds the young lady mysterious and intriguing, to the point that he is determined to find out what she does at night - the poor dope apparently has no life whatsoever.

Maybe this film is meant to serve as a larger metaphor for life - or maybe there's no meaning whatsoever to take away from it. Personally, I'm going with the latter choice. With its depressing atmosphere, uninteresting characters, convoluted plot, rather flimsy premise (to my way of thinking), and hackneyed ending, Nemesis Game never succeeded at pulling me in to its cinematic world. Some may find it to be an interesting, thinking person's film, but I found the whole experience pretentious at best. Even if you're one of the lucky ones who actually find something stimulating in this whole ordeal, the ending is likely to leave you feeling cheated. I really don't think your average horror fan is going to enjoy Nemesis Game very much at all; this is really much more of a psychological suspense thriller (with very little suspense and almost no thrills).
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This film has to have one of the most irritating beginning. IT plays a about two minutes and credits break in. Well some films do that. But this KEEPS doing that. Once it finally gets past that, you have a nice small film, but it tries to tell you it's a smart film, no show you. It's well acted with Ian McShane as a police inspector, with a daughter in school named Sara. Sara plays games with a video store owner, Highlander's Adrian Paul. But then someone ups the stakes of their games...
The abrupt ending hurt the film, but all in all a very enjoyable effort - and hey, I would watch anything with McShane in it!!
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on 17 December 2012
It is a peculiar movie, a bit obsessive. The quality is good, as the service: I got it punctually as always.
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on 23 July 2014
Seen this movie in my early teens and loved it then, still a great seemingly underrated movie.
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