Nerve: Review

Nerve: Review

Airman Glock

First, an introduction: I’m Airman Glock. I’m a huge book and movie fanatic, and I’ll read/watch just about anything (yes, that sometimes includes irredeemable garbage). Airman Xley invited me to contribute to this site, and I’d been wanting to start writing again, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

According to IMDb, I’ve watched over 1000 movies. My aim is to balance reviews of new movies with older ones that I’ve enjoyed or consider to be notable. My first review is for Nerve, a teen thriller that came out this year. I chose it mostly at random, but I want to save movies that mean something to me for later, once I’ve got some of my writing chops back. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy all my forthcoming content!

Airman Glock

First, an introduction: I’m Airman Glock. I’m a huge book and movie fanatic, and I’ll read/watch just about anything (yes, that sometimes includes irredeemable garbage). Airman Xley invited me to contribute to this site, and I’d been wanting to start writing again, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

According to IMDb, I’ve watched over 1000 movies. My aim is to balance reviews of new movies with older ones that I’ve enjoyed or consider to be notable. My first review is for Nerve, a teen thriller that came out this year. I chose it mostly at random, but I want to save movies that mean something to me for later, once I’ve got some of my writing chops back. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy all my forthcoming content!

Airman Glock

First, an introduction: I’m Airman Glock. I’m a huge book and movie fanatic, and I’ll read/watch just about anything (yes, that sometimes includes irredeemable garbage). Airman Xley invited me to contribute to this site, and I’d been wanting to start writing again, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity.

According to IMDb, I’ve watched over 1000 movies. My aim is to balance reviews of new movies with older ones that I’ve enjoyed or consider to be notable. My first review is for Nerve, a teen thriller that came out this year. I chose it mostly at random, but I want to save movies that mean something to me for later, once I’ve got some of my writing chops back. Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoy all my forthcoming content!

Emma Roberts as ‘Vee’ receiving a dare through the phone app Nerve

Awash in neon colors, with a copious amount of teenage angst and a ridiculous premise, Nerve was one of the least promising movies of the year. If I hadn’t caught it during its brief tenure at the dollar theatre, I doubt I would have seen it at all. And while it failed to blow my mind or even surprise me one bit, I still found myself enjoying it.

For those who understandably missed this movie, it is a new trend featuring a phone app called Nerve. Everybody that signs up joins as either a “watcher” or a “player.” The players perform increasingly absurd and dangerous stunts for increasing monetary rewards, which are sponsored by the watchers that sit by and enjoy the thrills. Emma Roberts is Vee, who is somewhat nerdy and completely risk-averse. Her BFF Sydney (Emily Meade) is a fairly popular Nerve player, who repeatedly tries to get Vee out of her shell.

In an act of defiance when Sydney publicly embarrasses her, Vee signs up to play Nerve, much to the surprise of literally everyone that knows her. Her first dare introduces her to Ian, played by Dave Franco, and for the rest of the movie they stunt together and make piles of money. This money is directly deposited into a player’s bank account, and it’s revealed that the app data mines every player to keep them playing through coercion, once the money is not inspiration enough. Vee’s initial motivation is money to attend CalArts, but by the end, the shadowy folks behind Nerve are threatening to ruin not just her life, but her mother’s as well (played by Juliette Lewis). There’s an “epic” ending with revolutionary flair, but I won’t spoil it beyond that. The ending fell flat for me, but it was appropriate to the story.

“We as a society live our lives online, and it’s not absurd to think that a company could know everything about us, enough to blackmail us should they have reason to do so.”

I had low expectations for this movie, and it somewhat exceeded them. Only occasionally did I scoff at what was happening on screen, and a number of the stunts had me on the edge of my seat. The progression of risk is quick without seeming rushed, starting with kissing a random stranger, working up to riding a motorcycle blindfolded (a favorite of mine) and beyond. As a silly teen thriller, I consider the movie a success. There was the requisite interpersonal drama related to the drama of the game, which I could have done without, but it’s a staple of the genre.

As a commentary on social media and technology, it was hit or miss. Most people are aware of how sites like Facebook and Snapchat manipulate users to check them compulsively and constantly, regardless of if the content has any value or relevance. We as a society live our lives online, and it’s not absurd to think that a company could know everything about us, enough to blackmail us should they have reason to do so.

The Bottom Line:

If you’re willing to turn your brain off and just enjoy the visuals and the silly story, you’ll probably enjoy this movie. If you want anything beyond the superficial, you’re better off looking to other movies.