Thoughts on Nerve (2016)

DON’T WATCH THE TRAILER! DON’T! It’ll ruin the whole movie for you – literally!


I was actually quite excited to see this movie. I love the concept of an online version of ‘Truth or Dare’ – minus the truth part, obv, sorry my Chanel Oberlin just kicked in. Don’t you love when Emma Roberts (Venus) tries to play “Miss Boring”? We all know she’s got a confident, fun personality behind those lying eyes.

Anyway, I was excited, nonetheless. But if you’ve watched the trailer – you know what’s coming.

The problem is, the movie really has no where to go. It’s a great premise – don’t get me wrong – but you know they’re going to complete the dares because otherwise they’re out of the game – which means, no more movie (ignoring the fact that the trailer reveals the end of the movie …) So you know, for at least for 90% of the movie, they’re going to complete the dares. Which does take a bit of the adrenaline and anticipation out of watching.

I found the fact that the movie is set over two days to be a bit unbelievable. Also, there’s a big lack of character development. Yes, Vee wants to do this so she can prove that she’s not as boring as her friends think she is – but do we really care if she succeeds or not? I didn’t. I guess we’re supposed to root for her because we want her to get to college and get the guy. But meh. Honestly, I didn’t really care.

The strongest character was Sydney, played by Emily Mead. We get to see so many sides of her character, so she in whole becomes the most believable and one to watch. And I found her more interesting to watch because her dares weren’t shown in the trailer.

I did enjoy the overlapping of dares that brought characters together – especially involving Ty (Machine Gun Kelly/Colton Baker), although we never learn who he is, or his motive or reason for being there. We’re constantly guessing if he’s good or bad – and by the end, you kind of have to make up your own mind as to what his motivations are.

Also, Juliette Lewis’ talents are wasted in this movie. It’s not just her lack of screen time, but the lack of material she has to work with. Her character is unnecessary when Vee is playing Nerve, and would have made more sense to just have her at the very beginning.

Ian comes off as nice, but we don’t really get a sense of who he is. This is somewhat explained a little in the movie – but not enough. Why did he sign up as a player to begin with? Who knows. There’s no real opportunity for character beats, so you can kind of forgive that a little bit.

Although Ian and Vee’s relationship does come from nowhere. They meet, they kiss, and then they kiss some more for no other reason except they’re two pretty people running around the city together. It’s amazing what can bring two people together – note the sarcasm.

Now, the ending is quite silly and disappointing. I’m not going to spoil it – because the trailer doesn’t actually give it all away. But I did find it kind of ridiculous and way too convenient overall. It’s almost as if the people struggled to come up with an clever ending and a satisfying ultimate end “twist”.

Is the game worldwide? What if the final two were in different countries? There are so many plot holes. Actually, thinking about it – the whole concept is quite ridiculous.

But the scariest thing about Nerve is that it’s possible this could happen in real life. Considering how much of a money-maker YouTube is these days, it is possible for someone to take make a decent living posting videos online. It’s also quite scary to think how easy our personal information can be seen, used and exploited online. Nothing is private on the Internet. Remember that.

Nerve has a wicked soundtrack. Also, it’s filmed in two different ways – at times, it’s flashy, colourful and crisp – vs the grainy, fast-paced digital world. Think The Matrix and the colours, style and grain in the real world vs the Matrix world.

All up, I’d say, if you haven’t seen the trailer, you’ll probably think it’s a pretty decent flick. It would appeal to people who like to spend their hours watching random online videos. I am unfortunately not one of those people, so I just found Nerve a bit ho hum. At least it appeals to both a male and female audience, so great for a date or a night out with friends.

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