Review by Justin Waldman for Mr. Will Wong
Screenwriter Jessica Sharzer pens the perfect balance between Fight Club and Pokemon Go in the adaptation of Nerve, written by Jeanne Ryan. Now saying that Nerve is a combination of an incredibly well-done violent Movie that hinders on the psyche and a videogame that has essentially consumed the world, is not necessarily a bad thing. It takes elements of both and turns it into a product that truly works. We have players and watchers, similarly we have members of Project Mayhem who want to watch the world burn and then members of Team Mystic, Team Instinct and Team Valor and they all battle one another. Nerve we have two groups, and peer pressure throws our lead character into the fire that is known as Player. The Film works on many levels in that it truly is entertaining and fun, with a wacky ending but overall the Film is highly-enjoyable.
At the start of the Film, we meet Vee/Venus (Emma Roberts) and her friends, Sydney (Emily Meade), Liv (Kimiko Glenn) and her best friend who doesn’t really get along with the rest Tommy (Miles Heizer). Sydney is the popular risk taker who is already a member of the Nerve culture and is a player, as she does embarrassing dares to win cash and gain viewership. Continuing their day, Sydney manages to embarrass Vee and calls her out for never taking any risks and this promptly leads Vee to become a player to prove that she is capable of being risky and adventurous. Her first Nerve dare is to kiss a stranger for five seconds, and queue meeting Ian (Dave Franco). The watchers seem to like this pairing of Vee and Ian and have them partner up for the rest of the game, which helps them both climb the ladder to be at the top for a chance to win the grand cash prize, which causes issues with the current leader Ty (Machine Gun Kelly), the question looming around the entire movie remains, who will become number 1 and at what cost.
Nerve works because of the chemistry that is shared between Emma Roberts and Dave Franco but also because of how seemingly possible the idea truly seems. We currently live in a world where everything essentially comes down to peer pressure, whether it comes down to what Social Media app you’re not on, or what newest fad you’re not taking part in, the world is constantly consumed with one upping one another. With a story that hinges on that, with relatable and consistent characters it is rather easy to get behind and enjoy.
Both Roberts and Franco give great performances as their true intentions come into the light throughout the duration of the Movie, but also as their relationship through the characters grow deeper. As well Meade’s performance as the jealous friend who was in the top rankings only to be dethroned by her friend by an offhand remark that made her become a player in the first place is convincing, we believe that there is some form of underlying jealousy lingering throughout the Movie even when it is not apparent.
Nerve is a fun time at the Movie that is sure to satisfy the general audience that it is in fact targeted for. There is some action, some comedy, and even some romance and that makes this summer movie a sure fire hit.
eOne Films release NERVE in theatres on Wednesday, July 27, 2016.