Sunday, December 24, 2017

Review: Nerve (2016)

Sometimes on Netflix we stumble across things which turn out to be pretty good overall!  And Nerve is one such gem.

Based on the novel by Jeanne Ryan, it's similar to The Circle or episodes of Black Mirror where we postulate where social media and technology might take us. Here we have a website/media 'game' called 'Nerve', where you can either participate or watch, and if you participate then you get cash rewards wired to your bank for each 'dare' you successfully complete.

Enter 'good girl' Vee, whose best pal Sydney is into the game and is doing well at it. So Vee decides to take part as she needs the money ... her first dare is to kiss a stranger for 5 seconds ... well she manages to do this, but it's been set up and the chap she chooses is Ian, who unknown to her (at first of course) is also playing the game ...

It escalates from here and Vee finds herself stealing a $4000 dress from a store and heading off with Ian for further adventures (riding his motorbike at 60mph while blindfolded!).  Watchers document their every move on their phones and stream it all direct for the world to watch, and Vee finds herself ascending in popularity, and getting more and more money as each dare escalates.

Ultimately it all comes to a climax in an arena where Vee and Ian (as the top players) have to battle Ty (another player) to the death - the people behind the game have now removed all Vee's money and compromised their families jobs and accounts and identities ... they are effectively prisoners to the unkownn people running the game!

Luckily, Sydney and her (and Vee's) friend Tommy, have made contact with a group of hackers who are intent on shutting 'Nerve' down for good.

It's a great, rollicking adventure of a movie, and based on technologies and behaviours which we all recognise in others and indeed in ourselves.  It posits what would happen if such a 'game' as 'Nerve' existed, and it all seems so plausible, that one starts to wonder if the game really does exist somewhere on the dark web ...  A scary thought!

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