Nerve

"Very Good"

Nerve Review


With a premise that feels almost eerily current, this stylish thriller revolves around a phone app game that takes its users out into the streets, where they cause additional mayhem. The energetic cast and crew keep the story moving at a brisk pace, generating moments of comedy, emotion, romance and some genuinely breathless suspense along the way.

It's set in New York City, where creative teen Vee (Emma Roberts) lives with her single mother (Juliette Lewis) in Staten Island, frustrated that she can't afford to attend her chosen art college in Los Angeles. Her best pal Sydney (Emily Meade) has just started playing the gaming app Nerve, in which watchers goad players to take increasingly bold dares for cash prizes. Tired of being the quiet good girl, and clearly in need of money, Vee gives in and signs up to the game herself. Watchers then team her up with fellow player Ian (Dave Franco) for an escalating series of dangerous pranks around Manhattan. And as this outrageous night continues, suspicions grow that there's something sinister behind the game.

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (Catfish) give the film a colourfully kinetic visual style, with acrobatic camerawork and a variety of social media imagery, from text graphics to video-streaming sequences. Rather than just noise, these elements pull the audience into the action, adding a first-person point of view that's involving and exciting. Jessica Sharzar's script doesn't dig beneath the surface, and her cautionary observations on gaming culture aren't terribly subtle, but there's a genuine sense of both fun and life-threatening chaos in each set-piece.

Meanwhile, Roberts and Franco create characters who are easy to root for. Roberts' Vee is an independent thinker who has never spread her wings, while Franco makes it clear from the start that Ian is keeping a few secrets. This game is very personal for him, and the question is whether he's a cheerful cohort, a disturbed victim or a creepy villain. The answer is fairly obvious, but Franco has fun shaking things up.

Amid the flashy filmmaking and free-form story structure, it's the emotional connection between Roberts and Franco that grabs hold. At its core, this is a fairly predictable, rather standard thriller that borrows its plot from a range of movies, from The Game to The Hunger Games. The final sequence feels somewhat corny and preachy about the dangers of social media and the hot topic of online bullying. But by then the film's joyful, urgent realism has already pulled us in.

Rich Cline

Watch the trailer for Nerve:



Nerve

Facts and Figures

Genre: Thriller

Run time: 96 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 27th July 2016

Box Office USA: $6000000

Distributed by: Keep Your Head

Production compaines: Lionsgate, Allison Shearmur Productions, Keep Your Head

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 56%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 32

IMDB: 7.2 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: , Ariel Schulman

Producer: , Allison Shearmur

Starring: as Ian, as Vee, as Sydney, Kimiko Glenn as Liv, as Nancy, as Azhar, Miles Heizer as Tommy, as Wes, as Ty, Brian 'Sene' Marc as J.P.

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Hampstead Movie Review

Hampstead Movie Review

Deliberately appealing to older audiences, this undemanding comedy-drama comes with a hint of social relevance...

The Book of Henry Movie Review

The Book of Henry Movie Review

Apparently, this offbeat script had been making the rounds in Hollywood for some 20 years...

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

Transformers: The Last Knight Movie Review

With this fifth Transformers movie, it seems clear that Michael Bay is still trying to...

Churchill Movie Review

Churchill Movie Review

This drama about the iconic British prime minister tells a darkly personal story set over...

Gifted Movie Review

Gifted Movie Review

This is one of those films that dances right up to the edge of soapy...

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Whitney: Can I Be Me Movie Review

Notorious British filmmaker Nick Broomfield teams up with Austrian music documentary producer Rudi Dolezal to...

The Mummy Movie Review

The Mummy Movie Review

To launch their new Dark Universe franchise, Universal has taken an approach that mixes murky...

Advertisement
My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

My Cousin Rachel Movie Review

Daphne du Maurier's 1951 mystery-romance novel has been adapted for theatre, radio, TV and film,...

Wilson Movie Review

Wilson Movie Review

It's never helpful when a comedy becomes a bit too smug about its own quirkiness....

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

Interlude in Prague Movie Review

A fictionalised story from the life of Wolfgang Mozart, this lavishly produced period drama is...

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

The Hippopotamus Movie Review

This British satirical comedy may be a bit of a mess, but since it's based...

Detour Movie Review

Detour Movie Review

This may look like a rather typical American indie thriller, but British filmmaker Christopher Smith...

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Wonder Woman Movie Review

Boldly optimistic, this action-packed adventure breathes fresh life into the DC universe with a welcome...

Baywatch Movie Review

Baywatch Movie Review

Clearly, it's a risky proposition adapting a cheesy vintage TV series for the big screen:...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.