Nerve

by Alan Rapp on July 27, 2016

in Movie Reviews 

  • Title: Nerve
  • IMDb: link

NerveEmma Roberts stars as Venus “Vee” Delmonico, an amalgamation of every secretly-cool high school nerd ever, whose introverted personality is tested when she chooses to sign-up for a super-secret (AKA everyone knows about it) online game of truth or dare known as NERVE.

Against the advice of her friends (Emily Meade and Miles Heizer), Vee finds freedom in the dares far away from her over-protective mother (Juliette Lewis) and drab life. Paired with the mysterious Ian (Dave Franco) by the game’s Watchers, the two Players will be put through a series of increasingly bold and dangerous dares until the movie basically loses any interest in common sense or reality and devolves into a battle between the pair and the underground hacker community responsible for the game.

Starting with an interesting idea, and timed perfectly to coincide with the popularity of Pokémon GO, Nerve is a tonal nightmare that wants to be both a fun high school flick and dark techno thriller (which it doesn’t have the brains or technical expertise to pull off). While the first works at times, the later leads to an unimaginative final act and questionable conclusion.

Hollywood has a long list of unsavvy tech thrillers. The ones that work know not to take themselves too seriously which is a lesson Nerve never learns. Burdened by a slow-moving set-up that flounders until Vee logs into the game and a lackluster half-hour where the movie attempts to make a point (while somehow both celebrating and condemning hackers at the same time), only the middle 40-minutes or so provide any real entertainment during the rush of Vee and Ian’s early dares. An uneven movie more notable for its failures than its successes, had Nerve embraced the zaniness of its concept fully (and the reasonable amount of conflict would cause) without the need for its dark subplots it might have the same cheesy value as something like Hackers. As it is, Nerve is just one more app that will bore you quickly and soon be deleted from you phone.

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