Bringing you honest reviews of recent releases
Emma Roberts – Vee
Dave Franco – Ian / Sam
Emily Meade – Sydney
Juliette Lewis – Nancy / Mom
Miles Heizer – Tommy
Kimiko Glenn – Liv
Nerve was something totally different to what I’ve seen before. In a refreshing twist on the whole online concept, it splits virtual and reality nicely by having the two run alongside each other throughout the movie. And with Roberts and Franco at the helm, the entire thing dashes along at a brilliant pace (like Jason Bourne I recently saw, there’s yet another breathtaking motorcycle scene, only this time the driver is blindfolded). Nerve is slick and fuelled by adrenaline, but with that viewers also get a healthy dose of ‘best friend turns bitch’ as Vee competes against a peer to score the highest recognition.
I have no doubt younger (I’m talking 12 upwards – teenage years) viewers will really enjoy this movie; it contains the familiarity of Mac computers, online chat, Emoji’s, friendship.. most of the elements younger people are engulfed by these days. It’s a pubescent paradise.
Overall, the concept is simple and easy to digest: random members of the public – ‘players’ – accept dares given to them by ‘watchers’ who pay to watch them do it as well as spur them on with new dares. Players receive money, and this dollar increases massively when the dare becomes more dangerous / high intensity. It’s an original idea, and makes for an interesting watch. And as mentioned above, there’s a motorcycle dash where Ian (Franco) has to pull a shield over his eyes and hit 60mph with Vee (Roberts) guiding him from her position on the back seat.
I have to say, this scene made me cringe – in a good way. It was almost nail-biting stuff, watching such a dangerous feat being performed and it held my attention constantly (through squinting). I enjoyed this.
One brief thought occured to me halfway through Nerve; how has the world not yet created a game like this? Don’t think I’m some sort of anarchist, but you’d have thought by 2016 an interactive thing like this would have already been concocted by some random thrillseeker in his Florida attic. Unpaid, and non-dangerous, obviously.
Many years ago my family had a board game called Dare. Very bloody random, in which players moved along the board and if they landed on a certain space, had to take a yellow card – read the dare – and perform it. If I remember correctly, there were dares such as,
‘eat a tablespoon of butter slowly’,
‘run up and down the street with a sheet over your head yelling ‘woooo’ like a ghost’
..and something to do with peanut butter. Sounds nice, but I don’t think it was. That was the point of the game.
Dare games are fun if played in the right way, and this movie made me realise that no one has thought of something like Nerve. That said, we do have Big Brother – and all manner of bullshit is played on there for the nation to observe.
Nerve is extremely colourful. Night shots, daytime shots, bright lights, the city, even Emoji’s all make up a wonderful splurge of glossy visuals. Much of the movie is set at night when firey neon lights blaze away and even the department store Vee and Ian visit oozes with bright, shiny crystal lamps. It’s good, adds a bit of sultry night-time atmosphere.
Light and colourful online interaction seize control, especially when Vee completes a challenge. Images of eyes (increase of followers) and hearts (likes) are superimposed on to the screen as if viewers (viewers of the movie) are looking at a giant Mac screen themselves. This adds a nice touch too, breaking away from standard movie camera and giving the impression you are sat online navigating a desktop (think Unfriended, 2015).
So – what went wrong?
Any viruses affecting the programme?..
If you’re the more mature viewer who prefers an engaging story and character relationship development – this isn’t the movie for you. Because ultimately, you’re watching two young adults piss about on the streets for popularity sakes. This is what Nerve is mostly made up of; there were a few scenes which had me starting to check my phone for text messages – I.E. were not engaging enough and just full of teenagers being teenagers. This movie became trashy in places, bubbling with immaturity and reckless behaviour.
A relationship forms between the two lead characters, but seems to trail off into nowhere before picking up again – just before the end credits roll. Not great, but I suppose it saves the movie from entering into a slush fest.
I’ve seen worse at the cinema. For what it is, Nerve isn’t overly bad. It entertains where it should and its winning element that kept me interested and watching was its whole online-becomes-offline concept. In a highly original, almost dystopian fashion the movie takes everyday things most of us use (computers, online gaming, mobile phones, social networking) and builds on them to produce fear. Fun. Panic. Adventure. A whole mix of emotions which, let’s face it, is what technology does to some people these days.
Nerve also touches on the subject of insecurity. Wanting to gain popularity for performing stupid stunts. It hits home when it comes to people spiralling into a world where they want as many ‘followers’ and ‘likes’ as possible, good stuff.
Well thought of, nicely put together.
Dollar dollar bill, y’all.