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This movie comes at the perfect time with the craze of Pokemon Go; a
time when you literally see millions of people obsessed with an app -
where you can find videos of hordes of people in NYC all running after
a particular Pokemon.
This is essentially the premise of the movie: a new app (game) comes out that takes teens in a particular city by storm, except the consequences can be much graver.
As to not give anything away, I try to be brief:
The acting was great; the pacing was great, the color pallet and tone of the movie were all top notch.
That being said, the plot - as it developed - felt "obvious", I wasn't surprised by anything and I wasn't ever emotionally "moved." The movie knows what it is, and it does it pretty well - it's a teen thriller.
What the movie explores is far more important: the way people interact with each other when they are hidden behind a wall of anonymity. The movie has a good message.
The BOTTOM LINE: I rate movies on whether it is worth spending the $$$ to see at a theater, in my opinion this one is worth seeing at a matinée showing ($5), but probably not dolling out $12 - $15. I hope that helps.
This was a movie that I thought had a very cool premise, but at the
same time, its trailer appeared to leave no surprises to be discovered.
The Good This film's premise is definitely a fun one, and at the least, this movie was almost constantly entertaining. The dares that these people are forced to do as well as the reasons for why people are playing this game are things I found very fun and interesting.
Emma Roberts and Dave Franco both give solid performances in this film, and they each work well off of each other. Roberts as Vee accurately depicts a high school senior struggling with social problems as well as college, even if Roberts herself looks like she graduated from high school six years ago. Franco's character was also an intriguing one, and he grew on me the more the film progressed.
I enjoyed nearly every moment when a legitimate dare was being done, as they were handled very well and created tension excellently. The style of this movie is also a reason as to why this film feels original, as the sleek visuals create some very cool scenes.
The Bad Nerve can be very fun when it wants to be, but the problem is that it also takes itself way too seriously in many scenes. This movie tries to get serious towards the end and become dramatic and have important themes, but it all comes across as incredibly dull and tedious.
Speaking of the ending, no matter how serious the movie thinks it is, it is absolutely stupid. The whole plan doesn't make much sense at all, and there are way too many unanswerable questions to just let go how convoluted it is.
While I did like Roberts and Franco, I had a massive problem with Emily Meade.
Whether it is the design of her character or the performance, Meade is completely unlikable and lacks any sense at all, and that would be okay if we are supposed to be against her. Instead, the movie expects us to feel sorry for her, which I found impossible to do.
My biggest fear coming in was that the trailer gave away too much of the main plot.
I wouldn't say the trailer gave away too much, I would say the trailer gave away everything. Every single scene, besides two, in particular, I saw coming a mile away because of one individual trailer, and I think it completely ruined my film going experience. Nearly every dare, every important conflict, and even the plot twist can be found within this movie's official trailer, and I highly recommend avoiding that trailer like the plague if you have any interest in seeing this movie.
Conclusion Nerve has good performances from its two leads and a unique visual style, and it certainly has its fair share of entertainment. However, though it might not be fair, the trailer absolutely ruined my experience by giving away the vast majority of the plot. Even besides that, there are issues in the film's storytelling, and whenever the movie tries to be taken seriously, it falls flat on its face. Nerve has its moments but falls apart towards its conclusion.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I struggled staying until the end of that movie, probably because I am not within the right demographic,so I'd say, if you are shaving already, this movie is probably not for you! (But if you are not shaving yet I am not sure I would like you to see that movie) I usually enjoy college silly movies or even some high school centered movies, but this was too much for me. Only good reason to see this movie might be for a drinking game: take a shot every time they say "OMG!" This movie is surfing big time the Pokémon Go wave, it is an ode to so many things that as an adult,are bothering me: the social media addiction(Vine,FB, Instagram), it puts ego-centrism, greed, instant gratification, instant fame into the spotlight. It encourages people to break the rules for fame, it makes attention seekers, extreme thrill seekers looks cool. But at the end there is a nice little twist and a lame moralizing lesson, which tells us do not go too far, friendship and life is more important, awwww so true, soooo nice, but...too late, the movie just spent 90 min showing people that all this crap was cool, pretty much being an enabler, validating addictive, dangerous behaviors, in front of a young susceptible audience! (or an older audience wondering why the hell I am here) We all read stories of selfie takers who fell from a crane or roof or cliff because they were trying to score a cool shot for their social media profiles... The movie is rather fast paced, but it is just watching a succession of dares: steal this, be naked, get a tattoo, risk your life...it is actually not funny nor entertaining to watch this. The main actors are likable, but it is was not enough to make me forget how idiotic this movie was. I was fooled by the 7 average, but then I realized 80% of the people watching this movie were below 25, so like I said in my opening statement, this is for a younger audience (who might pause their Pokémon Go hunt or their posting on FB, VIne, Insta... for the duration of this movie, and get their nose back into their phone screen as soon as the movie is over)
Good idea that failed in execution. If you saw the trailer and read the
reviews you might think that there's some depth hiding in the actual
movie, but unfortunately, you'll be wrong to think so. The actors are
the only bright spot. You'll see some well known and rising star faces
who's acting was on point. The movie tries to win you with likable
characters, scenes that show familiar problems to most internet users
(e.g.Skype call glitching) and with a cute little morale story at the
end but fails as it provides no depth to be discovered. Some scenes are
super cringe worthy and left me feeling uncomfortable about my movie
It's just one of those films you watch and forget about in a day, doesn't leave you questioning some character's decisions or the way it ended which left both me and my girlfriend disappointed. Overall 5/10.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
"Nerve" is a 95-minute thriller from this year that is based on a novel
by Jeanne Ryan. Jessica Sharzer ("Speak", "American Horror Story")
adapted the work for the screen and the directors are Henry Joost and
Ariel Schuman, both known mostly for "Catfish" so far. The lead actress
is Emma Roberts and the only other cast members I knew in here were her
co-lead Dave Franco, brother of James, and Juliette Lewis playing the
main character's mother. Most of the cast, also because of the subject,
are pretty young aspiring actors that do not (yet?) have a big name. I
kinda liked Emily Meade (even if the friendship story between her and
the main character was one of the weakest parts of the film) and I can
see her having a good future in film. But lets look a bit at the now
and this movie. It is a take on Big Brother with a mix of "Hunger
Games" and an ounce of David Fincher's "The Game", so if you hear all
this you already know it is a mostly dark take on the age of
surveillance. Here we have a young woman who gets told by her best
friend that she just isn't taking enough risks to lead a fulfilling
life. So she agrees to join in a virtual reality game called "Nerve",
in which she gets watched constantly by thousands of people while she
has to fulfill quests. These quests quickly get her to join forces with
And from that moment on, the two are out there together and the Watchers see them and hope for them to start a relationship. There is some situational comedy in this film and this was mostly working well. But sadly, in stark contrast to that, the real core of the film was not working for the most part. I am referring to the dramatic thriller sequences. They start off okay, but the script is quickly lost in a whirlwind of desperate attempt to become more controversial, more shocking and more relevant. The social commentary/criticism, which is what the film really is all about, also with a reference to our world, becomes complete garbage at some point and lacks realism entirely. One major problem is Roberts' main character. In one scene, she is scared to step on the motorcycle, int he next she accelerated the bike with her driver blindfolded. A rush of adrenaline cannot explain that. Same can be said about the ladder climbing scene. Lets not forget: This film takes place over the course of one evening/night and I just refuse to believe a character would change like that from one second to the next on all these contradictory occasions.
At some point, I felt the film really went for nothing than shock value and it was very empty and irrelevant as a consequence. Police won't do anything to stop the hosts of the game, even after a kid died earlier and probably more did looking at the risky actions. But a teenage boy and his pals can hack into the system and send messages that call everybody an "accessory to murder". This was maybe the most embarrassing moment, even if the idea about ending it at the very end felt very false as a whole. And why would everybody, even the "bad" guy, know about her plan, but Franco's character, the one closest to her, would not know? There were just so many scenes that did not make any sense at all in the second half of the film. Emma Roberts did not impress me at all. sure this is a film that is much more about the story and plot than about individual performances, but I was shocked how irrelevant her character and performance felt throughout the entire film. A more gifted actress certainly could have elevated the material and her speech in front of the crowd at the very end was nothing special either, more on the cringeworthy side. Franco, a fairly mediocre actor himself, looked really strong next too her. And Juliette Lewis? Oh well. I felt almost sorry for her about what they gave her in terms of the script. The character added absolutely nothing at all, but that's not Lewis' fault, just because of the way she was written. Apart from that, I refuse to believe that the crowd would really want her to die. First of all, humans aren't that cruel, second of all we were led to believe they loved her immediately the moment she entered the game. Make up your mind filmmakers and please don't give me the argument of people's opinions changing fast.
Okay, enough said. I am fairly disappointed here. This was definitely a missed opportunity. The film showed some solid premise early, but it quickly turned into a huge mess. I am actually glad it was relatively short and did not get any closer to the two-hour mark. I have not read the book this is based on, so no idea who is to blame and if the base material is also really weak, but if not, then I can not image Ryan being too happy with the way this turned out overall. I just hope they don't get the idea at some point to make a sequel here. This original was already underwhelming enough. I certainly do not recommend the watch. The longer it went, the worse it became, also with the ridiculously bad rushed-in happy ending for everybody. Stay away from this film.
With great internet power comes great irresponsibility. This is the
premise behind "Nerve", a film whose producers must have wet themselves
with excitement that the Pokemon Go craze aligned so nicely with the
release of their film. I was delighted that at last this summer there
is a film with a modicum of originality I can enthuse about.
'Vee', short for Venus (Emma Roberts, niece of Julia Roberts) is an NYC teen living in the shadow of a family tragedy and the claustrophobic presence of her over-protective mother (Juliette Lewis, "Cape Fear"). Always timidly in the shadow of her best friend the extrovert Sydney (Emily Meade) Vee pooh-poohs Sydney's compulsion with the new viral internet game 'Nerve': a social media 'Truth or Dare' ("but without the truth") challenge game where you can either be a "Player" or a "Watcher". In real time, Watchers set Players with challenges they have to complete for ever-escalating financial rewards but "Bail" or "Fail" and you lose all. And "snitches get stitches".
With their friendship at breaking point, Vee is provoked into playing the game by Sydney and teams with fellow gamer Ian (Dave Franco, younger brother of James Franco) someone with a history that could bring Vee into great danger. However, Vee's geeky wannabe boyfriend Tommy (Miles Heizer) is on the case .
What is so impressive about this film is that the screenplay by Jessica Sharzer (based on a novel by Jeanne Ryan) is genuinely original and is delivered with style and good humor. Sure, you can draw parallels for any film with many other sources: in here there are traces of Hunger Games/Allegiance; the "Simon Says" portion of Die Hard 3; perhaps a soupçon of "Gladiator" and Schwartznegger's "Running Man" in the mix. But this is a novel approach to a teen flick, bang on the topical money in bringing in the frenetically viral nature of social media and aspects of the 'dark web', cyber security and open source programming.
The film manages to generate significant credibility about the impact that a game like this would have among a teen audience. And there is a telling message in the finale: that it is easy to be a troll without responsibility hiding behind an internet ident, but when the masks come off and the message back becomes personal then your responsibilities as an individual human can come home to roost.
The film is delivered with style and verve as well, with innovative graphics (a great title and end title design) and an 'augmented reality' overlay of the action showing Players and Watchers across the city. Many of the challenges are executed really well, with a few seat-clenchingly tense moments, particularly if you have a poor head for heights.
But with all this potential it unfortunately fails to be a 10* classic, smelling at times of 'B' movie. Which is a great shame. Emma Roberts is fine at what she does, but at times I longed for the dramatic depth of a Shailene Woodley or Chloe Grace Moretz, with the scenes with the under-used but excellent Juliette Lewis rather highlighting this differential.
The otherwise excellent script is for me let down by a scene of male-on-female violence which I found both distasteful and unnecessary. And a coding 'geeks shall inherit the earth' moment towards the end is a little too glib for my liking.
But overall the directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman ("Paranormal Activity 3" and "4") have done a fine job with a $20M budget.
Regular readers of my blog (bob-the-movie-man.com) may recall my use of the "BvS quotient" the number of films that could be made from the budget of "Batman vs Superman": this one has a BvS quotient of 8% meaning you could make over 12 of these instead of the superhero dud. Yes please! Although if they had doubled the budget and rounded off some of the sharp corners, this could have been a true classic. It's still recommended for a memorable movie experience though, and probably makes it into my draft movies of the year list so far.
(For the graphical version of this review and to comment, please visit bob-the-movie-man.com. Thanks).
I found the central concept of Nerve ingenious, and it seems unbelievable that something like that doesn't already exist. However, the screenplay (based on a homonym novel by Jeanne Ryan) loses credibility with an alarming quickness, making the provocative ethic dilemmas of the game become a series of whims designed to generate drama and suspense which rarely feel authentic. Nevertheless, Nerve didn't bore me due to the dynamic direction from Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman and the adequate performances from Emma Roberts and Dave Franco. However, as I previously said, Nerve gets increasingly improbable with every new detail revealed. To start with, the game doesn't seem economically sustainable; its creators give away hundreds of dollars, and they must keep a considerable technological infrastructure to satisfy the clients (I guess so), in exchange for relatively cheap subscriptions. And, well, let's not even deal with the theme of the game legality, its omnipotent "data mining" algorithms and the total absence of cops during the most spectacular "feats" of the players (except when they are necessary to complicate the plot, naturally). But even leaving aside the huge logical holes and technological exaggerations, the main problem lies on the reaction the main characters; instead of being realistic characters trapped into an unusual situation, we have pre-fabricated puppets to fill in the requirements of the screenplay. I guess I shouldn't be surprised; a visit to Amazon confirmed the fact that Nerve is based on a "young adult" novel... in other words, it competes in the same market as The Hunger Games, The Maze Runner, Divergent, I Am Number Four, Beautiful Creatures, The Host (2013), The Giver, Warm Bodies, Blood and Chocolate, Jumper and other ones which borrowed fantasy, science fiction or horror concepts in order to add them to simpleton tales with obligatory romantic tangents and wide doses of juvenile drama. Anyway, taking it on its own, I found Nerve moderately entertaining but forgettable, appealing to the digital obsessions of the juvenile audience in order to "connect" on a more emotional level (we already know that life experiences are valid only if they are registered on video or some shape of social network). And we were complaining about Pokemon Go...
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Starring the amazing and very pretty Emma Roberts, and the always
charismatic Dave Franco, "Nerve" is a new thriller about a high school
senior named Venus (Emma) who joins an online community, called Nerve,
of adrenaline-junkies where anonymous watchers can dare players to do,
well, whatever they want to see someone do.
From start to finish, this film is a non-stop white-knuckle thrill ride that is exciting, intense, romantic, and most importantly, a lot of fun. Trust me, you will have a smile on your face the entire runtime of this movie, and you'll also be on the edge of your seat. Now, I'm going to be honest, maybe my low expectations made this movie better to me than it really is, but I can't help that I had an absolute blast watching this film.
One thing that was great about this movie was that the dares were realistic, and didn't feel ridiculous. All of the things that Venus is dared to do are things that you know actually could happen in real life. The dares range from her getting a tattoo, to her having to go 60 miles per hour on a motorcycle while the driver, Ian (Dave Franco), is blindfolded, and while the dares get more and more intense as the film goes on, nothing felt overly unbelievable or too exaggerated just for the sake of putting it in the film.
And watching Venus and Ian complete their dares and gain money was so much fun to watch. Their chemistry was fantastic, and I bought their friendship throughout the film. What can I say? They made a cute on-screen couple. It was also satisfying to see Venus go from a shy and timid girl to an adrenaline junky, but hey, I'd do the same thing if someone was offering me thousands of dollars.
The world building in this film was very believable as well. The game of Nerve felt like a phenomenon, and it actually felt like something that could happen in real life. There were shots of the city that showed the different usernames of all of the different people who were logged into the game, and this was an effective way of conveying just how popular Nerve was in the films universe.
The color palette was also hypnotizing. Bright, vibrant, neon reds, blues, and purples are a feast for the eyes, and the soundtrack, which is comprised of light techno music, accompanies and mixes with the colors very well and fits the overall tone of the film.
"Nerve" is a fantastically fun and incredibly intense movie that has great chemistry between Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, great visuals to go with an awesome soundtrack, and cool action sequences in the form of the dares that the characters have to complete. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who just wants to spend an hour and a half gripping their seat with a smile on their face.
I guess, I was too old in age to watch this movie. It might aim at teenagers. To me, a grown-up middle aged man, the movie was boring and predictable. All boys and girls have stereotype characters. Especially boring is the fact that all characters are very conservative thinking, not much youth in them. They all go a bit wild during playing the game "Nerve". But after moral (not ethics) catches them up they fall back in place and will live ordinary boring lives. What remains after leaving the cinema, is the depressing fact that our digital world can only be thought as going mad, that internet brings out mostly the bad side of people, but very seldom the good. In these kind of movies the happy ends finish with the heroes turning off the computers or mobiles. But the kids going out of the cinemas don't.
I'm the guy who can appreciate Ben Affleck's Daredevil as mindless
entertainment...so with that being said I'm not too hard to impress. I
liked this movie's concept...it's fun and engaging. The actors did a
good job with it for what it was. It's not an Oscar worthy movie by any
means, but if you're bored and you're looking for something to
mindlessly entertain you for a few hours this will do the trick. A
little far fetched at times with regards to the antagonist(s)...but
it's a good source of mindless entertainment. I've read people say it
tries to actually get into serious themes...if that's the case I missed
the memo cause I didn't really see any serious themes other than the
availability of information over the internet...
I'd sort of go the other way with this and say it doesn't really take itself too seriously...which I think is a good thing. I do feel like the ending was a little meh and a little bit of a letdown...but I can't think of a better way to end it off the top of my head so I really shouldn't complain. This was an OK movie with a really good premise for nerds like me.
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