Movie Review: Nerve (2016)

Howdy folks, I’m giving this another go. Most of over half of me hopes nobody actually reads anything I’m writing because it’s scary enough to post something online and the rest of the little bit of me knows that I’m doing this in the least risky way possible under a false name, writing about other peoples’ work, with no consistency or exposure. So here, we go, again, and this time I’m reviewing anything I care to, not just what is new because let’s be honest, my opinion is worth having even if it is two years late 😉

Nerve, aka “Oh, look. I’m not actually dead inside” is my new pushy obsession. As in, the next time it’s my turn to plan a night in for the peeps I’m gonna spin it like board games and a romance but it’s 100% going to be me making them sit in silence, in the dark, unplugged for the whole movie with debate and discussion to follow. You know, fun?

Now I know what you’re thinking, “Dave Franco and Emma Roberts play a popular online game of dare that starts to take a sinister turn”…Prisma, aren’t you overselling this by a bit? You do tend to exaggerate and you do tend to fan-girl over really unworthy things. To that I say, pshh, I promise you there is at least one other human out there with exactly the same taste as me who will appreciate my efforts and honesty. And my honest opinion is that no, I’m not overselling it. That almost word for word Amazon description is underselling it and it’s a travesty.

So the girl who played Nancy Drew at a made-for-tv movie level and Baby Franco who plays roles that need abs and no range get up to some fun hijinks together in a romantic action flick about teenagers and attention. Except Emma, and I’ll admit to being biased because 1) she isn’t one of the top two Emmas out there in her general age range and 2) I don’t think I’ve ever seen a movie with her in it and thought, wow, that role was perfect for her and she put on a performance above what others could do, is relatable with very little exposition and manages to make me happy she was cast. And Dave’s best parts weren’t even when he was shirtless. I was really feeling with the kid.

That was a feat in and of itself, that I really felt anxious, tense, stressed and energized, engaged, involved when the writing itself was not award-winning. Some parts were the most terrible, drudging clichés filmed by extras but the backbone ideas and the parts that really worked just stuck with me so hard. I gave it the best praise a millennial can, I put down my laptop and my phone and went single screen and then I went and bought it with real money because I needed to always have access to the bit feelings it managed in me. I’m jaded, and over saturated, and can guess plot twists with the best of them so I rarely feel the need to do a movie the honor of paying for it alone off a streaming service. To be compelled to do so means they took my very high activation level and surpassed it somehow.

What, concretely did I like about this flick? AKA SPOILERS BE BELOW…KINDA!

  1. It tackled some millennial issues without being overtly preachy or condescending. Validation through others, doing stupid and potentially life ruining things for likes, thinking art college is a good idea.
  2. It portrayed the imbalance of the lie that is effort, popularity, and opportunity. The internet is stupid and if it decides to hate you it can make you get high for money or be shamed and thrown out.
  3. It made me smile and also clench with fear. Who knew there were multiple ways to protray crippling fear?

What I didn’t like about this flick….

  1. Lack of men I’m incredibly attracted to (while Baby Franco is adorable he isn’t my type) and that’s a huge part of what will get me to watch a movie that, on the surface, is going to be barely more than a waste of my time or background noise to a video game.
  2. The conclusion, while not bad pulled punches like a millennial wanting to break the news about our nature as delicately and optimistically as possible. Where were the lasting consequences and why was this a romance again?
  3. The millennial idealism. Gosh darn millennials and their photography and streaking and party games and influencing and stuff. Not every movie with a point to make to millennials about our future needs to have a positive outcome. Sometimes everyone should die and we should be scarred. You know, like those smoking ads.

Verdict: Should you watch it with an open mind? Yes. Will you have the same experience as me? No, probably not because I’m a special snowflake who can appreciate true art and raw truth or something equally as insufferably said while drinking an espresso out of an avocado.

Rating: My full, undivided millennial attention and $13 USD


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