Some people love the game Truth or Dare and others hate it so the line from the trailer ‘are you a watcher or a player?’ makes perfect sense. However ‘Nerve’ is about an online game which only features dares. Players play to win money by completing dares whilst watchers pay to watch the players. It’s an interesting enough concept and when you throw in hot young stars such as Emma Roberts and Dave Franco you’ve already got most of the teenage audience on board.
The film certainly presents todays culture pretty accurately. It showcases the massive use of social media and how obsessed with it we all are, especially the youth of today. This is intergrated well throughout the film and is as much a part of the story as it is a part of all our lives today. On top of this the film looks at how many individuals are fame-hungry and looking to become ‘insta-famous’ etc. Again just like the social media element this is done well here too. The scary thing is I could genuinely see this game happening, or at least something similar to it. Due to the films honest portrayal of todays culture I would have no problems believing that a game like Nerve could slot right in amongst it. However, despite how fittingly the film portrays youth culture this doesn’t necessarily make for an entertaining film. The majority of the film has the audience simply watching people complete dares and I found this to be so boring. For a long time the narrative keeps its cards close to its chest so we literally watch the characters complete dares for money, that’s it for a big proportion of the movie and it just wasn’t enough to stimulate me. There were a few exceptions to this though as I thought that a couple of scenes including heights were done very well as they had a particularly stomach churning effect on me and did feature good tension. It’s a shame that the earlier dares weren’t as exciting.
Another problem is the fact that the characters aren’t likeable and I just didn’t care about their drama, which in the grand scheme of things is rather childish. There are a few points that are more mature but they always seem overshadowed by the pointless high school drama which makes you feel zero sympathy for the characters involved. Saying that neither Emma Roberts of Dave Franco perform badly they are just so limited by the awful narrative and their rubbish characters. Roberts character, V, for example is so whimsical as one minute she is set in her ways against the game and the next she is pushing the limits in her dares, it just didn’t make any sense. Talking about not making any sense, the game itself is just ludicrous too. When you really start to think about the set up of the game and how it is used by both watchers and players so many aspects just wouldn’t work and the finale it builds too is just so stupid.
‘Nerve’ will appeal to the the youth culture that it so accurately portrays throughout its narrative but I’d be surprised if anyone outside of this would really enjoy it. There are too many flaws in characters and the game itself to allow the audience to really embrace the concept and above everything else for a long time the film is just quite boring. The leads don’t perform badly it’s just the film they’re in is so poor that they fail to make much of a mark. There are a few redeeming features but not enough to make me recommend it.
Rating – 4/10
Question: What is your favourite Emma Roberts or Dave Franco role to date?
(Leave your answers in the comments section below!)
Thanks for reading this review and please let me know what you thought about the movie! Leave a comment below or drop me a tweet over at @HCMovieReviews.