Nerve - Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman
If you read our Yüth Forever “Forever and Ever” Tour review, you’d know that the moment I became interested in this movie is when the guys in Darke Complex told us their song “Invertebrate” is in it. Despite my minimal level of interest, I went into this just expecting a fun movie, one where I can vegetate and enjoy the ride. I really wish that was the case.
Vee, played by Emma Roberts, is a shy teenager. One of her friends asks her to sign up and watch her on Nerve, a streaming service where streamers receive money for completing dares submitted by viewers. After teasing Vee, saying she is just a “Watcher,” Vee signs up as a “Player” on Nerve. She runs into Ian, played by Dave Franco, on her first dare. He is also a player. They are dared to spend the night together, and that's when things start going wrong. The dares become increasingly more dangerous, the reward money is taken back along with all of their money in their bank accounts, and they’re told that the only way they can get everything back is to win the game.
This is a teen movie. No other way to put it. Every character fits into a very standard archetype, and are written and directed in such a way that exaggerates each trait. Vee, being very shy, is also awkward and extremely apprehensive at every turn. Her friend Sydney (Emily Meade) is the fun cheerleader that's actually a bitch and overcompensates for a shitty home environment. Ian is the typical mysterious guy. You don’t know anything about him until the halfway mark, then it's all dumped on us, finally giving those “throwaway” side stories meaning. It’s hard to feel afraid for these characters when there's nothing to distinguish them from the ocean of similar teen movies, although I will say that the action was at least done well enough to create a little excitement. For example, the moment from the trailer where they run out of a clothing store just about naked is fun as they try to navigate the multi-floored store past unexpecting people, and then make a mad dash after being caught. It wasn’t at all a serious moment, and that's what I liked about it.
Now, I did say that I was hoping to just have a fun time with this movie, so why am I picking it apart? Well, there are moments that can take you out of the adventure. Whether it's taking a second to think about what's going on and asking if the characters are acting logically, or in my case, just knowing how wrong they get the technology, something is always distracting the viewer. For someone who is going to school for this, I can put up with people not knowing that a touchscreen is actually reactive to the heat on your fingertips instead of actual pressure. Your touchscreen can’t read your fingerprint. But I can’t stand when tech terms are not only falsely interpreted, but thrown around like fact when the truth can be Googled to get a simple, easily-understood, one-sentence explanation. I would also be fine if that was it, but all this wrong information piles up until everything is magically solved. Say there was a movie where a character had a bad heart and everyone hated him because he was an asshole. This guy goes to a therapist. The therapist gives him a laxative. In three days, he's cured and not an asshole anymore without ever taking a shit. Does this make sense? Neither does Nerve. The only saving grace is that it didn’t get a lot of screentime and we got more decent action.
The main reason I didn't enjoy this movie comes from my interests and life choices, which I understand are unique to myself and other techies. But keep in mind that this rather small detail got me thinking about the entire movie and ruined most of it. It can all unravel in a second. If you can successfully suspend your disbelief when you see this, then good. There's nothing wrong with that. But you can’t call this movie anything other than simple entertainment.
Also, “Invertebrate” was in the movie for less than five seconds. Listen closely when they go into the tattoo shop.
"Curtains" is where you can catch movie reviews by the Metal Lifestyle staff.