NERVE (2016) Review
Directed by Ariel Schulman & Henry Joost
“Are you not entertained? Are you not entertained?” – A line from Ridley Scott’s 2000 award winning film Gladiator. Not that Nerve is related to Russell Crowe in sandals and swords but the phrase is appropriate for what the film wants to present.
Nerve stars Emma Roberts as Venus or Vee for short, a senior high school student who play by the books and doesn’t get out of her comfort zone until her best friend Sidney (Emily Meade) made her realize that she can’t live the way she does. So, she joined in an online game of truth or dare as a player, minus the dare in which she meets Ian (Dave Franco) in one of her dares and continue with their challenges together until everything went more than what they bargained for.
Are you a player? Or are you a watcher? Nerve gets to expose the perception of some who lives like it’s their last day. The ultimate adventure for young adults trying to find themselves through letting go of their fears and insecurities. While that may be a smart thing to do, it’s also dangerous at times. Emma Stone and Dave Franco may not be the most in demand Hollywood young stars now but they perfectly fit the role of Vee and Ian.
The film, while it can get intense at times, is often boring. Not because of the story, it is more because of the direction. It’s weird that it doesn’t have enough push for things to be suspenseful and fun because the story is, or at least the plot is. Nerve is an interesting piece of social experiment, it gets the way young people nowadays want to have adventure in their lives, not just the usual ones but also the ones that are almost impossible and sometimes rule-breaking. But it was told in an uninspired way, that while these characters and their journey are clearly interesting, the direction doesn’t want you to feel that way.
Nerve is fun, a good way to spend your time, and sometimes gives you something to think about, but how the film was told lacks the obvious adrenaline power the story has.
2.5 OUT OF 5 STARS
“Nerve” is now showing in Philippine cinemas nationwide from Pioneer Films. Rated PG by the MTRCB.