The Movie: 7.5/10
Everybody alive right now who can hold a cell phone or click a mouse has the potential to be part of a huge horrifying conspiracy of some kind, right? That sounds like fiction, but think about it……. I’m giving you time to think about it. In our real world protests and even revolutions are being organized on Twitter, just little old-fashioned Twitter, imagine what could happen if someone invented a game that got millions of people to do stupid shit and share videos of it for money. It does not sound that far-fetched, so get ready folks.
Nerve does a pretty good job of putting together a plausible story about such a thing. I mean, a bunch of teens and 20 somethings doing idiot pranks and jokes and dares to get cash and to get people to “like” them online. Hmmm is this actual fiction? I have a feeling this is going on somewhere in the world but I’m too old and dusty to know about it. They do a good job of keeping me in their little bubble of belief about these characters and their choices. The characters and how they decide to do what they do makes a lot of sense. It gets a bit wacky and most of us wouldn’t do what they do, but I never think “Nah, no one would ever do that!” Even when we get to the lecture part, and yes, it has a big fat lecture as its moral center, it feels more fictional, but still believable.
A young woman on her way to college needs money and her wild friend plays the game, but our “nerdy” hero isn’t into it until she finally decides to be more bold, less afraid. She meets a dude while doing a dare, and tada!, the trail of dares as a duo begin. It makes sense that a wild friend can cause a less wild friend to feel a bit hidden in the shadows and that hidden friend might meet a dude has that wild side and gives her permission to go for it. It’s extreme, yes, but I totally get the whole dynamic between the friends and that adds to the authenticity of the story.
Our new wild man has his own agenda, of course, and we have a villain on the loose in the game. Once we know the stakes are getting higher and higher, our little scared leading young lady feels the pressure to get out of the game, but then again, that wouldn’t be very much of a movie:)
The look of the movie is really cool. A motorcycle ride through the city at night, New York City! It’s bright and shiny and lots of neon and they took me there. The performances are pretty good, a bit melodramatic, but that seems to fit so it’s fine. The music is cool, of course. Overall I enjoyed the movie as a look into our not-so-far future, mixed with a true disenchantment about how charming and how much potential our youth might still have in them….time will tell!
- Watcher Mode – Lots of very short featurettes that cover most aspects of the film. They are all about 2 minutes each though so they amount to nothing substantial.
- Player Mode – 3 Virtual games that stay true to the spirit of the movie. I smell a lawsuit with the Do You Have the nerve game as it asks you to do some pretty crazy things and tweet pictures of you doing them.
- UV Digital Copy
Cover Art and Menus: 7.5/10
I really like this cover, except for the faces. I would have it as a poster if they could do a version with just the city and them on the motorcycle.
Audio & Video: 9/10
Nerve comes to Blu-Ray courtesy of Lionsgate and an AVC encoded 1080P transfer at 2.40:1 aspect ratio. The film is mostly washed in Neon and looks terrific throughout. It’s really hard to score the video quality throughout as a lot of the film is done using cell phones and consumer video cameras. But suffice to say the shots taken on real cameras are breathtaking.
DTS:X is the codec of choice here and as usual sounds fantastic. This is a young persons movie by definition and the booming music used throughout comes across loud and clear. There are tons of instances of surround effects used as well, listen during the motorcycle dare as you hear the traffic behind as well as in front as you whoosh through the neon streets.
Overall Score 7.5/10