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In the industrial wasteland just outside of Los Angeles, circa 2027, there's a covert war raging between the cyborgs and the humans. "86.5% is still human," insists superagent Alex (Jean-Claude Van Damme wannabe Olivier Gruner, complete with kickboxing credentials and thick Euro-warble), but as the cyborg conspiracy builds around him he discovers that humanity is more than simply a matter of flesh and blood. Borrowing elements from Blade Runner, The Terminator, Escape from New York, and The Road Warrior, and looking ahead to digital "data couriers" of Johnny Mnemonic, director Albert Pyun turns the sci-fi spy story into an engine for a visceral thrill ride of sleekly designed action sequences driven by a dancing camera and a breakneck editing rhythm. It's a glorious triumph of style over substance, the vigorous pace leaving the story far behind and nimble set pieces belying a tiny budget with ambitious action choreography and impressive displays of property damage. Apart from a few clumsy special effects at the conclusion and the requisite collection of scene-chewing performances, Nemesis is a thoroughly entertaining piece of sci-fi trash, a classic example of cinematic energy overcoming the obstacles of plot. --Sean Axmaker
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