Nemesis 3: Time Lapse (1996)


I feel like maybe I took a very unusual drug this lunchtime, or reality itself is bending around me. Or maybe I just saw a really bad film. Anyway, I’m going to try and recap the third in the “Nemesis” franchise and help you all understand just what happened.

Tim Thomerson is back! After dying then not dying at the end of part 1, he’s “Farnsworth 2”, sent back to the present day from 2077 in order to capture and return Alex, who has DNA that will…nah, still not sure on that one. I think she’s like a super-human-soldier who will help in the future war against the cyborgs, but you’re forgiven for not remembering that as we’re now two entire films from the last time we saw the slightest evidence of this future war.

Anyway, Alex wakes up in the middle of an empty plain, still somewhere in East Africa, with amnesia. She wanders back along the path of her own footsteps and eventually meets Farnsworth 2. He appears to want to help her, but holds a gun on her a few times, which she seems not to be too bothered about. He gives her some sedative or other, she stumbles about his jeep for about ten minutes, with regular flashbacks to the action of part 2, and then she eventually sort of remembers what’s going on and shoots him.


“22 hours earlier”! Okay, here we go. How did Alex get from the jeep she was taken away in at the end of part 2 to her predicament at the beginning of part 3? This film represents the fullest flowering of director Albert Pyun’s complete inability to show how one thing follows another in any sort of logical sense. In fact, while watching this film you may come to the conclusion, as I did, that the scenes could be arranged in pretty much any order and the film certainly wouldn’t be any worse.

If you’d like an example of this, I’ll provide a timeline. Let’s say time goes A – B – C – D – E. Event E should follow event D, and so on. Here’s that order for this film:
D – E – B – A – C (with a tiny bit of extra E at the end)
If there were a reason for this – if it helped the film in any way, I’d understand. If it were designed to be deliberately odd, as an experiment, I’d understand. But this isn’t so much confusing as pointless. Watching Alex through the film, I was genuinely baffled as to her whereabouts in her actual timeline at any moment.

Farnsworth 2 is after Alex, as are a couple of future bounty hunters. They appear to be Lady Gaga lookalikes, but Lady Gaga after she became a gym freak for a couple of years. They laugh at each other all the time, and in one scene they’re wearing those jokey sex t-shirts – “Cyborgs Do It With…” but I couldn’t read the last bit. Surely if they have a sense of humour, our job as humans is pretty much over? I say let the cyborgs have control of the planet. Anyway, a bunch of people are after Alex, she finds a few friends, bang bang bang, the end.


I don’t think there’s enough negative words for me to use about this film. But I’ll try. First up, a quick mention of the location. We’re still in East Africa somewhere, so you might reasonably expect there to be a few black people knocking about. Not a single black face since halfway through part 2, film fans. Second up is Alex herself, Sue Price. Because this film has so much less action in it than 2, we rely on her actually acting, and she’s really really not good at it. Not her fault (as I mentioned in my last review, the three Nemesis sequels are her only film credits of any kind) but it makes it really tough to watch.

But the big picture is where all the problems lie. What’s the point of this film? A curious question to ask, given I’ve seen it and you (probably) haven’t, but I really haven’t got a bloody clue. I’ll go bullet-points, to see if I can work out the throughline of these three films:

* Cyborgs are slowly taking over the world
* Olivier Gruner, you think, has stopped them, but they wanted sequels so he failed
* Cyborgs take over completely, and enslave humanity
* Human scientists invent some super DNA which could turn the tides
* They send the first super-baby back in time to 1980
* She grows up, and the cyborgs from the future send people back to kill her

The first five points are done with by 3 minutes into part 2. The last bullet point is virtually the entirety of the last two films, and that’s it. There’s no development, there’s no sense that she’s closer to any sort of understanding of the overarching problem or her place in it, there’s no sense that the world of 2077 has been affected in the slightest by the events of the sequels, nothing. If the films were better, if they worked on their own merits, then at least there’d be something. But all it really is is a woman running about Africa, getting shot at and shooting other people, for no reason. Oh, and she kisses a guy with a mental age of 3 at one point.

IMDB. normally as impartial as possible, stops pretending here. The first line of their synopsis is “Using footage left over from Nemesis 2 and a very thin story line sees Alex again fighting the cyborg mercenaries in 1998 East Africa”. Thank you, IMDB.

Even Tim Thomerson can’t save this one. It is unbearably boring, and absolutely pointless. I will force myself to watch part 4, then destroy the part of my brain with memories of the three sequels with strong booze. Please, part 4, don’t be in Africa again. Please do something.

Rating: thumbs down



One thought on “Nemesis 3: Time Lapse (1996)

  1. Pingback: The ISCFC vs. Sci-Fi and Fantasy franchises |

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