Friday, 3 January 2014

Nemesis Game (2003)



It seems to me that media that promises some secret, revelatory truth most often ends up a jumbled mishmash of nonsense, masquerading as meaning. This joint Canadian/UK/New Zealand production is one such piece of media. It posits the existence; or at least, the belief in the existence, of a mysterious riddle game where, if you solve enough of the puzzles, you'll be taught The Design: the pattern and rules that explain all the seeming chaos that is existence.

Into this game comes Sara, a young woman who survived a car accident that killed her mother, and who hopes to understand why. On the edges of her search are her sleazy classmate at college, the comic store owner she's been playing puzzle games with, a murderess, and Sara's father (who's a cop).

The involvement of a murderess might give you or I pause, but not Sara. Even after her sleazy classmate meets a violent end, she continues to pursue this purported mystery. I suspect she needs conselling, myself, since her behaviour throughout the film is fairly irrational. Not that she's alone in that.

The main strength Nemesis Game has going for it is a solid cast who commit to the frankly silly script like it makes some kind of sense, and almost make the film watchable. If the final five minutes weren't so terrible, they might actually have succeeded.

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