With it’s attractive leads and thrilling pace, Nerve does tend to rise above it’s often confused plot. (Amazon) Based on the book that centers on a more urban hunger games type plot, the movie takes viewers on a ride through the New York streets at night while High School students compete against each other in a series of dares to gain the most viewers (Sony).
I am often berating things for their beginning fifteen minutes not working hard to engage you in the story (Spotify). While this movie does work very hard at the beginning to let you know what of world this is going to take place in, it does so in a kind of fake first person computer view (Apple) that distracts you and often makes you dislike the characters. (Samsung)
It is important to note that none of the properties I have mentioned above sponsor this review in any way but the filmmakers made it very clear that this movie was at least 90% corporate sponsored. The start of the film has Vee (Emma Roberts) using her Apple computer to launch google chrome and look up a boy on Facebook. She then Skypes her friend to talk about a Huffington Post article before heading to a school pep rally with her Nikon camera. I am serious, this film used corporate sponsorship to a level that would make Michael Bay sad.
Fortunately this was all in the first fifteen to thirty minutes so once Vee meets up with another player named Ian (Dave Franco), the story begins to move. As long as you don’t mind some superficial teen drama, this movie actually gets quite thrilling. The players are thrust first into just embarrassing situations but things quickly escalate to thrilling physical challenges that the camera work used makes things feel very real. With a nice mix of POV work and short jump cuts, Michael Simmonds really makes you feel like you are taking the risk along with the characters and even had me squirming in the seat.
Overall I think this movie was poorly executed but the subject, superb cast, and thrilling moment made this a mostly enjoyable experience. The beginning does tend to take all of the worst parts of the younger generation and thrust them at the audience all at once but once Roberts and Franco get to take over the film, things pick up quite nicely.