Posted Aug 11 2016
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Nerve - This Movie Just About Rocks The Post-Pokemon Go World

Dir: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman

Starring Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Juliette Lewis, Emily Meade

The social media nightmare movie has become something of a sub-genre of late. And Nerve plays into that quite effectively for the most part.

Roberts (who isn’t her aunt but still has something to offer) and Franco (who isn’t his older, weirder bother but still has something to offer) are the young couple thrown together by the titular online game, basically a series of escalating “dares” that seek to echo Fincher’s The Game, just minus the darkness. Thus they kiss on cameraphone, singalong to Roy Orbison in diners, run around in their undies and hang from vertiginous heights, as the game gets more and more sinister.

It’s a nice, straightforward idea and one that resonates probably more than the filmmakers expected in the shadow of the subsequent word-domination of Pokemon Go. Its internal logic is not always that well thought out, but Roberts and Franco are charming enough that we kind of let that slide. A third act shift into more absurd, Purge-like terrain threatens to lose the affection the film initially wins, but it just about pulls it back for the climax.

It’s not particularly original, and a darker vision may have been preferable, but whilst Nerve won’t exactly shred yours, it also doesn’t get on them.

 

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