Technology plays an increasingly important part of our lives. Everywhere we turn some computer device shows us what to do with people using them for fame and fortune. Nerve explores these elements in a cool, urbane thriller. Those perplexed at how much technology now rules everyday life will probably be even further confused at what Nerve shows. It serves as an effective warning to rely on your wits rather than the cables running the machines we seemingly can no longer live without.
Vee (Emma Roberts) is a student living a somewhat sheltered existence. Urged on by her friend Sydney (Emily Meade), Vee downloads a secret game app called Nerve. Based on the Truth or Dare idea, it allows choice between being being a player or watcher. Choosing to be a player, Vee has to perform dares for money, with each new task increasing the risks. Another player, Ian (Dave Franco), joins her with the partnership quickly tested by sinister watchers placing them in peril.
Nerve is a nifty little film making the most out of its limited budget. Set during one night, it follows two people attempting to unburden their inhibitions. Their actions mirror those of many ‘keyboard or app warriors’ who are unafraid in expressing their online opinions. How the watchers dictate Vee’s and Ian’s moves is part of the fun of the screenplay’s twisty narrative. Each dare is new, giving scenes a constant freshness and added dangerous spice.
Roberts and Franco convey great chemistry as the duo playing a most dangerous game. Their interaction is crucial in making Nerve consistently watchable and believable. Whilst some situations seem far-fetched, their performances bring the empathy they need. With the short run-time, the plot glides briskly with little CGI work and a cool soundtrack rounding out the enjoyable viewing.
Nerve delivers no more or less than it promises with a consistency across all areas. Viewers may be even more wary about technology after seeing it, but it shouldn’t put you off seeing this breezy thriller sure to distract from the latest technological marvel.
Reviewed by Patrick Moore
Rating out of 10: 6