ReelTalk Movie Reviews  

New Reviews
Jurassic World Domini...
Jazz Fest: A New Orle...
Chip 'n Dale: Rescue ...
more movies...
New Features
Poet Laureate of the Movies
Happy Birthday, Mel Brooks
Score Season #71
more features...
ReelTalk Home Page
Contact Us
Advertise on ReelTalk

Listen to Movie Addict Headquarters on internet talk radio Add to iTunes

Buy a copy of Confessions of a Movie Addict

Main Page Movies Features Log In/Manage

Rate This Movie
 Above AverageAbove AverageAbove AverageAbove Average
 Below AverageBelow Average
Rated 3 stars
by 252 people

ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Challenging Times
by Richard Jack Smith

I dare you… not to appreciate Nerve. Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman’s intelligent, kinetic and original undertaking tackles social media, thus revealing the duplicity behind anonymity. Leading the way, Emma Roberts earns a high score as Vee, the “Watcher” who becomes a “Player.” An online community game, Nerve offers “Dares” for the financially strapped. Such fame prompts Vee to escape the shadows only danger lurks afoot.

If the actor playing Ian looks familiar, that’s because he’s the younger brother of James Franco. In Nerve, Dave Franco comes across as the biker boy next door, who joins Vee on this crazy ride.

Working from Jeanne Ryan’s novel, writer Jessica Sharzer side-winds expectations. She escapes the gauntlet, overcoming fearsome odds. There are moments played out on smartphones that compete against every CGI assisted image. These special effects grab you by the throat, refusing to weaken until the stunt completes its cycle.

Notably, Nerve reflects the mass preoccupation with instant messaging. It does so more effectively than David Fincher’s The Social Network. That film concerned the authorship of Facebook, while Nerve ends up knee deep inside a personal vs. professional web. As such, consumers rarely leave technology alone, their addiction all-consuming even while walking or driving.

Charting peer pressure as an excuse to be adored, Vee crystallizes the 21st Century personality. Because storytelling registers most effectively in the eyes, Roberts adapts to the needs of the lens.

Also, Nerve allows Franco a first-rate opportunity to shine. He doesn’t disappoint. Similar in many ways to Tobey Maguire’s breakthrough work in the Spider-Man trilogy, Franco demonstrates a daredevil, mysterious air spiked by the fear of potential failure.

Credit must be shared between Madeleine Gavin and Jeff McEvoy, two editors that comprehend the value in reaction shots. Ticking every box familiar to Walter Murch’s playbook, Nerve extracts rhythm and emotion essential for post-modern drama. In my view, it’s the best edited film of 2016… because each dare feels naturally acquired.

Here’s my poem about Nerve:

A game involving all of us --

the shy, thrill-seeking or anonymous.

In her comfort zone sits Vee

wanting to be like her friend Sydney.


Money made from dares,

not plugged in, who cares?

Found footage steals the frame.

Near dangerous horizon, who’s to blame?


Those that exist in code

travel neither grass nor road.

Observe that one in the next seat

possibly given to spontaneous meet.


Taking chances on the red line,

bailing out, pay the fine.

Nerve utterly thrilled --

a brand somewhat chilled.

(Released by Lionsgate and rated "PG-13" for thematic material involving dangerous and risky behavior, some sexual content, language, drug content and nudity -- all involving teens.)

© 2024 - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Website designed by Dot Pitch Studios, LLC