Nemesis is available on digital download from 29th March, it’s a cockney gangster film about a London crime family and their ageing boss who gets caught up in a web of betrayal and revenge. It has a big London cast full of familiar names including Billy Murray, Nick Moran and Frank Harper and promises a lot from UK gangster specialist, producer Jonathan Sothcott (Rise of the Footsoldier Part II, We Still Kill The Old Way).
The action starts with the return to London of family boss John Morgan (Billy Murray) who flies in by private jet with his busty wife Sadie (Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott) for a 3 day visit that starts with a special awards dinner. The presentations are interrupted by a heckler, plain clothes policeman Frank (Nick Moran), who makes himself known to the guests by berating Morgan whom he has a vendetta against. Drunk and over stepping the mark he’s escorted off the premises and his actions cost him his badge as he is suspended.
We then follow Morgan on a number of meetings. The first meeting is with his solicitor, Sebastien (Julian Glover), to discuss his newly resurfaced problem of Frank, who blames him for killing his father and wants to bring him down. He gets the all clear about the previous evening’s commotion before being summoned to another meeting with fellow London crime boss Damien (Bruce Payne). It’s a meeting of the head crime bosses with the later laying down his authority. He is not happy about ‘the noise’ being made, feeling Morgan needs to adapt to a more modern market…or perish.
The next meeting is with his brother, Uncle Richard (Frank Harper). He tells him he is thinking of giving up the business and handing it over fifty fifty to him and his step son Eddie (Danny Bear), even though the two churlishly don’t get along. Uncle Richard knows who ratted on Morgan about his whereabouts and so Morgan and Eddie go after the grass. This starts the first outpouring of violence and the film begins to find its feet a little, leading up to the big family dinner, when everything suddenly goes totally mad.
The film tries to fit together the parts of a good gangster romp with the sharp suits, flash cars and cockney patter. But even with a big London cast, the head-to-head dialogues unfortunately sound more stilted than convincing and fall short of a comedy parody or a serious crime thriller. It does have some engaging moments like when Frank (Nick Moran) is chatting to the bar owner Billy (Ricky Grover) about his grievances and things momentarily appear back on terra firma as the Guy Richie ensemble take centre stage.
If you are a fan of this particular gangster genre you might enjoy this for its old familiarity. There is plenty of macho posturing, expletives and random acts of violence. The London gangster plot has been adapted with a twist or two to keep the audience guessing, that includes a lesbian love interest but in the end it looked like it had the actors guessing too.
Director: James Crow
Stars: Billy Murray, Nick Moran, Frank Harper, Jeanine Nerissa Sothcott
Genre: Crime / Thriller
Run time: 1hr 28min