Some Nerve: The Best Bad Movie in a Long Time [MOVIE REVIEW]
The best thing about Nerve is that it doesn’t care what you think of it. While it’s not a mind-bending surreal soup like The Lobster, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen a film that feels quite so free in its own skin. The new Emma Roberts film starts like Ferris Bueller’s Day Off and ends like The Warriors or Escape from New York. It’s The Hunger Games as told by John Carpenter. Nerve is a total riot, the best bad movie in a long time.
The Pokemon Go craze couldn’t be more timely. If there’s a Nerve review that doesn’t mention that Net-age Rubik’s cube, then there is some film writer who is not awake – and perhaps no longer employed. The game in the movie is like the game in real life, making for microwave social commentary. The movie’s game, hidden on the “dark web” that we all hear about but never see, is described as “Truth or Dare without the Dare.” There are players who do the stunts for money and watchers across the world who egg them on. They start off all fun and games. But your mother was right, — it’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye. You know how that goes.
As a Staten Island high school wallflower coming out of her shell, Roberts seems to bee on the short end of every genetic code in her family. Short where her aunt Julia is tall, she seems likely to play teenagers until she’s 55 years old. She did, however, get the horse teeth and electric smile. She wouldn’t be in the movies without her family, but no one can say she isn’t making the most of it.
To be successful, a B-movie needs to have one thing going for it – a person, an idea or a vibe. Directors Ariel Schulman and Henry Joost capture the thrill and uneasiness of being young in an age of digital voyeurism. It turns that vibe into a burst of energy that lasts until it crashes near the end. And even if you know Nerve is going to lose its nerve, that it’s going to stick its fingers in its armpits and start bocking at the end – it’s worth the time getting there.