Nemesis 2: Nebula (1995)

Nemesis 2 Nebula DVD CoverNemesis 2: Nebula is twice as Nemesiser as Nemesis, taking everything that was awesome about the first movie (nothing) and just jacking it up with upgrades that could only come from director/writer Albert Pyun!

Gone are the chase scenes through the steaming jungles of Java! Now, all your chasing will happen in the much more Spartan east African desert! Well, it’s really the Spartan Arizona desert, but both of them start with the letter “A” so it’s all pretty much the same, right?

And how can the ditching of the evil cyborg LAPD police commissioner for a guy in a rubber monster suit straight out of an old Ultraman TV episode be anything but the sort of plot and tech advance we expect out of our sequels?

The best move though was switching out Olivier Gruner‘s automaton-like presence as the human hero Alex for Sue Price’s automaton-like presence as the human hero Alex! Yeah, you got replaced by a girl, Olivier!

Despite somehow launching a four movie series with the entirely generic and story-impaired Nemesis, Olivier’s contributions to the franchise are immediately forgotten when the movie opens with a sentence or so that tells us that he screwed the pooch and let the cyborgs win! Crap! Why didn’t I know that before I sat through an hour and a half of the first movie?

Nemesis 2 at least attempts to explain what’s going on with a prologue set in the future where the cyborgs have taken over. Admittedly it’s a strictly by-the-numbers recounting of how the cyborgs have enslaved us and some rebel scientist has engineered a super cool fetus to save humanity.

A woman is picked to carry the savior child to term and is hunted by the cyborgs until she makes her escape in a time machine and ends up in east Africa in 1980 where she’s killed by the people involved in some war raging there. But thank God she escaped those horrible cyborgs!

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The child, Alex (named after Olivier’s character), is raised by one of the tribes and in a development more terrifying and shocking than the cyborgs destroying our civilization, Alex grows up to be an overly-muscled up female bodybuilder! With blonde cornrows!

She also manages to recover a superpowered knife from her crashed time machine. It even comes with laser targeting and glows!

Combining all that with a face completely devoid of expression and a vocabulary that barely approached double digits, I sort of starting feeling sorry for poor old Nebula! With his lumbering black suit in the hot desert, his propensity to malfunction after repeated clashes with Alex, and Alex’s strength complimented by her agility (this chick was doing back flips in the air in slow motion!), I was more worried about Alex taking over the world than Nebula!

Nebula is the cyborg sent back in time to get Alex so the humans couldn’t use her to defeat the cyborgs in the future. He’s got the whole Predator camouflage thing going on for the first part of the movie, but he isn’t able to do anything to Alex more serious than give her a bloody lip! And that could have just been her lipstick being all messed up!

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He is able to kill a bunch of locals and cause all sorts of explosions, but even when Alex gets caught in one of them, she just sort of bounces off a wall, picks herself back up and starts running again!

Like its predecessor, this film is simply one long chase, this time between Alex and Nebula. It’s much less painful than the one we were put through in Nemesis since we don’t have any babble about data on microchips, whether someone is more machine than human, or cyborgs who just look like human thugs.

The movie is pretty much a one on one duel between woman and death machine which isn’t much to build a movie around, but it’s a hell of a lot better than building one around Olivier Gruner fighting a stop motion metal skeleton!

As with all time travel movies, you need to totally ignore the time travel element. You don’t want to be asking smarty pants questions such as why do they send Nebula back to a point in time when Alex is at her most bad ass?

Sure, Nebula says he’s been searching for her for 20 years, but does that make any sense? Why can’t the cyborgs just keep sending Nebula back over and over until they hit the right time when she’s just a baby?

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But it doesn’t even have to be that complicated. Just send Nebula back in time to kill the doctor who created her. Or send him back to kill the mother when she was pregnant with Alex. And why are you only sending one breakdown prone robot back for the most important mission your evil empire has ever had?

But if the cyborgs already exist in a future where they defeated the humans to start with, doesn’t that mean that all these Alex characters ultimately fail anyway?

Director Pyun (Bloodmatch, Heatseeker) does what he can to give us enough action to keep us from wandering away from the TV. He’s managed to rent some sort of abandoned mine or warehouse facility that allows him to have his characters blow up some stuff, jump and dive around, and fall out of buildings in slow motion.

The final confrontation is also shot in super duper deluxe slow motion which is really nice for those of us who want to savor the sweaty muscles of Alex flexing as she stabs Nebula, cuts off part of his hand and then shoves it straight into his head!

And don’t think that Pyun didn’t realize he’d hit on a winning formula with his beefcake broad vs. killer robot story because as soon as this movie ends and before the credits roll, we are informed that Nemesis 3: Time Lapse is next! This sweatacular she-hunk can blast my pecs, lats, gluts, and quads for ten more movies is she wants to!

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