Saturday, 27 August 2016

'Nerve' Review

In the modern day, the internet and social media are such pivotal parts of our lives as we spend many hours on sites like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Quite frankly, we do see quite a lot of stupid things that truly baffle and can even amaze us. But what if there was a game that encouraged these people to complete dares in return for large sums of money and the prospect of internet fame? 'Nerve' is here to show us what can happen in a scarily realistic telling of how this 'game' could quickly turn into a horror show.

Artsy Vee Delmonico (Emma Roberts) is a student who isn't content with her life in Staten Island. Her friends feel she doesn't take many risks and it leads to best friend Sydney (Emily Meade) embarassing her. Due to this, Vee signs up for 'Nerve', a popular 24 hour long game that challenges players to make money through a series of challenging dares. Viewers pay to watch and players play to win cash prizes. The stakes are raised higher and higher as the night goes on and Vee realises that the game is far more sinister than she first thought. Paired with Ian (Dave Franco) the two look to bring the game to an end.

Despite being set in the year 2020, 'Nerve' depicts a scarily realistic version of the way the internet works. The game 'Nerve' is set up anonomously and is powered by the large amount of watchers who pay to watch and even take it further for their favourite players. That alone is quite realisitc as it shows how internet personalities can become famous through people taking interest in what they are doing. Now that is the realistic part that isn't too bad. 'Nerve' shows brilliantly how many people will hide behind a username to carry out acts that are pretty despicable, none more evident than in the finale. These people may think that they don't have an effect on what happens but they are oh so wrong. The film also shows perfectly how that if you say something on the internet, it may very well be used against you and that you can't control it once it is out there. 'Nerve' showcases this incredibly well and speaks volumes about reckless use on the web.

The tone at the start of the film seems to be quite light hearted as the dares are seemingly harmless with the likes of kissing a stranger and performing a song in a restaurant. The start of the film shows these challenges to be fun and we see the characters having a good time. The film becomes quite fun as the stakes don't seem too high and the challenges haven't quite placed them in too much danger. However the tone shifts drastically as the film progresses and the dares become more challenging and death defying rather than the harmless fun that people sign up to complete. As the true horrors of the game unfold, the more dramatic and tense it becomes as the dares become more challenging to the extent where lives are risked. From what started for Vee as something to let loose with, now becomes something that could harm her drastically.

Emma Roberts stars as Vee, the seemingly boring to her friends, art student who looks to play Nerve after falling out with her best friend Sydney. The film could've done a lot better with Vee's reasoning for playing the game. Rather than her signing up after being embarrassed, they could have played more into the money aspect of the game as she looked to move for university. She lives at home with only her mother which they could have played into a whole lot more to make it much more impactful.

Emma Roberts and Dave Franco work tremendously well together in this film. Roberts does very well combining the different aspects of Vee's personality like the awkward side but also the artistic side. She seems very normal and down to earth and the character seems like your average person, allowing the average viewer to relate to her. Franco's character 'Ian' is a lot more mysterious but he plays off the cool character incredibly well with his charisma. The pair have great chemistry together and this is shown on many occasions as the pair work together to complete the challenges set for them. Both are believable in their roles and work very well and you can see both in and out of the film, that they really enjoyed working together. Emily Meade plays Vee's best friend Sydney and does very well as well. Sydney isn't the greatest person and I'm sure we all know someone like her. It's not made entirely clear to why they are such good friends but you cannot fault Meade's performance at all.

One of the strongest parts of the film is with its soundtrack which fits the film nearly perfectly. The soundtrack accompanies our protagonists to each destination as we see some fantastic sights of New York City. The film does use the landscape a lot throughout the film to move the film to the next scene which does seem repetitive at times although still being done to a very high standard. The film is beautifully created and has a wide range of shots showcasing the talents of co-directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost.

Overall, 'Nerve' is an incredibly fun film which takes a dark twist that fills the movie with tension and unpredictability. One of the more enjoyable movies of the summer for me, I thoroughly enjoyed this one and would recommend it for if you're looking for a fun summer movie. Some minor problems and they could have made the reasoning a bit more powerful but all in all I don't have too much to moan about. Good performances all around and a great premise which was capitalised on. 

Final Verdict = 

So have you seen 'Nerve'? If so what did you think of it? I hope that this review was useful for if you were planning on seeing the movie. Also, I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did! Once again, thank you for taking the time to read my review, it is much appreciated!

By Angus McGregor