By the second act of the film, NERVE had me sold. Very entertaining! I kept thinking to myself this is what UNFRINDED should have been like. But the cracks started to show by the end of the movie. It's in the final moments where the film really lost me.
There is a new social media game that is all the rage, it's called Nerve. You're either a watcher or player. Contestants perform dares per users/watchers request. It's old fashioned Truth or Dare minus the dare part. The rules are simple; complete a dare and win money along with gaining 'likes', but fail a dare and you loose. The top two finalists compete in a dare to win it all. One important thing to remember about Nerve is never tell police about the game. Snitches get stitches.
Vee and Sydney are tow best friends in high school. Sydney is the popular and outgoing cheerleader. Vee is the more quite type who takes pictures for the yearbook. It's a stereotype in teen movies that's probably outdated by now, but I'm almost 40 years old so what do I know?
Sydney is an avid player of Nerve and a social media butterfly. She's constantly telling Vee to get out of her comfort zone and play the popular game. Vee persistently declines.
After an embarrassing but not too embarrassing encounter with the high school Quarterback, Vee signs up for Nerve to get her pride back.
Her friends can't believe it, Vee is playing Nerve! And she's good at it! She quickly becomes popular in the game and Watchers pair her up with Ian, who we find out is a veteran player.
At a certain point in the evening Vee and Sydney start throwing shade at one another possibly ruining their friendship. And Ian turns out to be more mysterious than we thought! Oh my! What's going to happen next!
Like I said earlier, once the second act starts rolling I found NERVE very entertaining. But the ending didn't work for me at all. At best I give the movie a Netfilx recommendation.
Before I get into potential spoiler territory I just wanna mention something that bugged me about NERVE and other Hollywood movies that deal with computers and hacking. Stop trying so hard to make hacking look cool. I'm ignorant on the subject but I know hacking a computer or the world wide web isn't glamorous. Thankfully you've got a standard to work from now, the television show MR. ROBOT. Watch it, learn from it. It's fake I know but they make hacking look somewhat real. Okay, rant over.
So here where NERVE looses me at the end. Vee gets in way over her head with the game and panics. It turns out that Ian is a slave to the game because he let someone die and told the cops. She tells the cops and immediately she looses the game. She has one last shot, compete in the final dare or her life is ruined forever.
I was still on board at this moment, but soon the movie just fell apart.
What probably would have been better is if a Watcher related to the player that died was getting revenge on Ian, forcing him to play until he dies. Something to that effect. But no, the movie wraps up everything very pseudo-nice and neat.
The movie ends with Vee having a friend who conveniently knows how to hack and shut Nerve down. She then gives a very preachy on-the-nose message about how a game like Nerve is wrong and do Watchers have nothing better else to do!