Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Now on Amazon Prime: Nerve (2016)

Nerve (2016) - Directed Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman; Written by Jeanne Ryan; Starring Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Juliette Lewis.

By Kenny Howell

File this one under, well that surprisingly wasn't a lot worse.

Emma Roberts (We're the Millers) plays a shy high school student named Vee who gets sucked into an online game run by anonymous people daring others to do stuff for money. As you would imagine, things gets out of control.

She is brought into the game after finding out that her best friend - the impulsive, out of control Sydney (Emily Meade) - moons the crowd during a pep rally. Turns out she has been playing this game called Nerve, and this was just her latest stunt, something she thinks Vee should jump on board.

After some shaming for not living life, Vee signs up for the game. She is dared to kiss a stranger in a diner, which just so happens to be another player, a plant by the makers named Ian (Dave Franco). After that dare, the makers of the game decide they like Vee and Ian doing stuff together, so the dares keep getting riskier, but the payday keeps going higher.

As you would imagine, things spin out of control, and Nerve pipes into meshed world of the internet and reality, one where anonymous users' worst can come out and have some horrible consequences.

That is all nice, but I think you have to suspend reality quite a bit to make this seem plausible. The idea that a game like this could be played pretty much without everyone knowing (except those ages 15-21) is a bit far fetched. The Today Show would have a massive boner for this daily so they could tell all the moms that watch early on the morning just how their kids might die.

Still, Roberts and Franco (Neighbors 2: Sorority Rising) are as likable as always, and there is a certain slickness about it that makes it much better than it has any business being.

Nerve is now streaming on Amazon Prime.

Rating: **1/2

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