Nerve-movie

So many reviews of Nerve have compared the titular online reality game to Pokémon GO, and rightly so. Rarely does such a perfect real-world analogue serendipitously appear, and with such uncanny timing to boot. Obviously, the team behind Nerve could not have been unaware of the latest augmented reality sensation during production, but they end up so close to it because they are thoroughly attuned to the aesthetics of all the modern major online channels.

As a sort of mixed media collage, Nerve is somehow both disorienting and natural, which is how the adoption of new technology goes. The players of Nerve must film themselves performing their dares on their cell phones, which is both awkward (often dangerously so) and second nature.

The film zips along with just enough believability until its conclusion, when everyone suddenly develops superpowers. But while it falters plot-wise, it remains thematically strong (a sly moment of mass implication hits hard). This is an exaggerated world, but it feels unnervingly plausible. While Nerve goes down easy, it does not really let anyone off the hook.

I give Nerve $50,000, plus a $1,000 bonus for not bailing when it probably should have.