Nerve: "We Became Prisoners Of The Game"

Director: Henry Joost
                Ariel Schulman
Writer:    Jessica Sharzer
Starring: Emma Roberts
                Dave Franco
                Emily Meade
                Miles Heizer
                Kimiko Glenn
                Samira Wiley
                Colson Baker
                Juliette Lewis
Rating:    ***

Release Date: Out Now

When I first saw the trailer for Nerve, and read the concept; I was intrigued. It sounded like a fascinating look at today's disturbing voyeur mentality, mixed with a cool and fresh plot line and idea. The film lived up to my expectations for the majority of the film, and then the final act hit. It isn't a bad ending, it's just not the ending that I was initially expecting and excited for.

Vee (Roberts) has always lead a sensible life. She avoids taking massive risks, avoids danger and is happy the way things are going. She is the polar opposite of her best friend Sydney (Meade) who introduces her to the game Nerve. In the game watchers pay to watch, and players get paid to complete dares set by the watchers. The dares vary from kissing a stranger to riding a motorcycle blindfolded at 60MPH. Vee hesitantly signs up as a player, and is soon swept up on a risky adventure with fellow player, Ian (Franco). However, things go too far for Vee, and when she tries to make a quick exit, she soon realises how far the watchers will go to get their entertainment.

Kimiko Glenn, Dave Franco
& Emma Roberts
The concept of this game and people being 'watchers' couldn't be more relevant to today's social climate. People would much rather film a fight or, even worse, a roller coaster accident, than actually do what they can to help. We have become a generation known for viewing everything through our technology, and while I am completely guilty of this, some people take this obsession to perverse levels. It is that perversion that Nerve is highlighting.

Emma Roberts has progressed massively in the roles she chooses and her skills as an actor. In the role of Vee she is able to ride both side of the character with ease; she plays Vee as a reserved and nervous girl, and by the finale evolves into a ballsy and brave woman who stands up for what she believes in and does what she feels is right, despite the risk it puts her in. Dave Franco, alongside her, finally manages to play a character that is almost likable. He still retains the arrogance that seems to come so easily to the Franco brothers, but his feelings for Vee push through further and you begin t believe that he wants to protect her and will do anything to do so. It took a while for me to believe it, but by the conclusion I was there.

The ensemble cast slot perfectly into the fast paced nature of the film, and all have a role to play. Juliette Lewis represents the older generation who still have lots to learn about technology; Miles Heizer remains the moral compass throughout the film and tries to keep Vee on track; and Emily Meade and Colson Baker show how the idea of fame can make people do crazy things on social media and online. The film also stars Kimiko Glenn & Samira Wiley (Soso & Poussey from OITNB) who both provide some extra layers to ensemble cast and prove they are so much more than orange jumpsuits and prison wars.

Colson Baker
The way Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost (Catfish, Paranormal Activity 3&4) film Nerve is absolutely their style. It is fast paced, it is artistic, it is fresh and it is MTV. They take full advantage of the lighting in the big city, and the colourful electronics help to give Nerve it;s technological edge. They are amongst the minority who know how to handle a virtual thriller like this, and their edgy approach moves it along with speed and excitement.

The films biggest flaw, for me, is it's concluding scenes. Without too many spoilers, Vee and Ian find a way to stop the game and with some trickery and manipulation manage to shut it down. My problem with that is that, unfortunately, that doesn't truly reflect our generation. The age of keyboard warriors, online trolling and Worldstar Hip Hop clearly shows no signs of slowing down, despite the best efforts of the world. 

One moment where the watchers make a fatal decision, and after realising what they've done, they decide to sign out of the game and pretend nothing happen. That shows the cowardous of the society we live in, but the overall conclusion is too neatly tied up and full of good morals to truly mirror what is happening in our world. The didisappointing ending really let the film down in my eyes, but everything leading up to that point is fast-paced, thrilling and genuinely disturbing, and sadly that is our world.

Nerve - Trailer

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