“NERVE” Are you a Watcher or a Player?

Release Date: July 27, 2016

Game Time: 1 hour and 36 minutes

Rated PG-13

Grade: B

Directed By: Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman

   In a world run by apps and social media, Nerve, directed by Henry Joost & Ariel Schulman, releases at the appropriate time to warn young viewers the dangers and consequences of interactive social media and the internet.

  Venus “Vee” Delmonico (Emma Roberts) is a shy, keeps to herself high school senio facing the biggest decision of her life: what college to attend. Her heart is set on California Institute for the Arts but, coming from a low income home and having just lost her brother, she finds it hard to confront her mother about her wish.

N_D25_9037.CR2  After her best friend Sydney (Emily Meade) embarasses her in front oher crush and friends, and calls her boring, she impulsively becomes a player on the live streaming 24 hour game Nerve. Facing her fist dare, she kisses a stranger for 5 seconds in a restaurant who turns out to be Ian (Dave Franco), another player who eventually partners up with Vee for the rest of the movie.


  This movie was fast paced, full of adrenaline, and full of warning signs to young viewers. With the release of apps like Pokemon Go, this movie addresses how careful teens must be and when they should see that enough is enough.

  Vee and Ian faced dares that, in a real world situation, would either kill them or cause them to be thrown in jail like reaching 60mph on a motorcycle, blindfolded, at night in the busy streets of New York.

  To the young viewers, and the older ones, don’t try any of the stunts in this movie at home. This was a work of fiction and the stunts were done by professionals.

  The movie’s pace and plot lines were amazingly done. We had enough time to learn about Vee, her friends and family, and her own concerns, but these didn’t distract from the main point of the movie: how Vee survives the game. Although, the only problem I had with storyline was her brother.


  She tells Ian halfway through the movie that her brother died and he would’ve laughed if he had seen what she was doing now. But this was a two second thing and then it was dropped. I feel as if the brother’s influence on Vee could have been strengthened just a bit more, and then the emotional impact of Vee’s choice to join Nerve would have struck with us much more.

  There is no denying that the chemistry between Dave Franco and Emma Roberts was amazing. As soon as I saw the two of them on screen together, it was obvious that they were comfortable working with each other, and this comfort brought a sense of authenticity to their roles as Vee and Ian. While I didn’t particularly like how rushed their love spark was in this movie, I did love watching these two actors together on screen.

  The New York night scene was the best place to set this movie. Not only did this add to the intensity and to the adrenaline, but it added to the danger of the game, making it much more attractive to viewers. If this were set in Ohio during the day, the movie would not have been as interesting. New York was the best place and I loved seeing Vee and Ian race the time through the lightest and darkest streets of New York.

  Nerve releases July 27th, 2016 and deserved 9 out of 10 stars.

                                                                       Life is passing you by. You need to take a few risks every once in awhile.

Venus “Vee’ Delmonico, high school senior, is an amateur photographer who has been accepted into an art school in California. She would really wants to go, but she is afraid to tell her single mother who relies on her since her brother passed away two years before. Vee’s best friend, Sydney, is outgoing and a risk taker which is the polar opposite of Venus. Sydney introduces Vee to an online truth or dare (minus the truth) game that she is playing called“Nerve”, where there are players and watchers. Watchers pay to watch and players play to win. Vee thinks that the game is sketchy and disregards Sydney’s participation in it. After school, Sydney approaches J.P. who Venus has had a crush on for some time to ask him if he is interested in Venus. When he says that Venus is not his type, Vee is mortified. She decides that she is fed up with being a watcher in life and enters the game as a player. Her first dare introduces her to Ian who is also a player. As the dares continue, she earns thousands of dollars and notoriety. The bad part is that if a player fails or bails, they lose everything. If they snitch, it gets worse. As Vee and Ian get deeper and deeper into the game, the truth does come out with deadly consequences. Are you a watcher or a player?


Stay…let’s see what else happens.

Nerve is not your typical young adult drama thriller. While there is some teenage drama and plenty of young adults, Lionsgate chose wisely to distribute a film this year that (unlike any films presented thus far this year) addresses a younger generation situation while appealing to all ages over thirteen. The directors, Joost and Schulman, who also brought us Paranormal 3 and 4, dive into the hot topic of social media headfirst. The screenplay, based on Jeanne Ryan’s 2012 young adult thriller of the same title, takes a hard look at online gaming, the pervasiveness of the internet, and the potential consequences of sharing too much info on the internet.

The cinematographer, Michael Simmonds (Paranormal 2), toggles nicely between traditional shots and cell phone videos to project the story onto the big screen. Even though parts of the film seem like a reality show, there isn’t any shaky camera work. What really makes this film work is the acting skills of the two main characters played by Emma Roberts (We’re the Millers) and Dave Franco (21 Jump Street). After the first five minutes of Robert’s back story, Franco enters the picture and propels the film into thriller mode. As the anticipation builds, the duo’s chemistry drew me into the game and I was emotionally invested in the outcome of the plot. The roller coaster action scenes roll into the terminal with a very satisfying ending. I dare you to step into the theater this summer to catch this one….reject or accept? The Movie Buffette

About Andrea Torres