The ultimate game of dare – are you willing to risk it all?

By: Katie Chong

What if you could make money out of a game of Truth or Dare…but without the truth? Would you risk your life to win the ultimate dare game for money and fame? The screenwriters for the movie Nerve put this idea on the big screen for all to see on July 27, 2016. The result is a PG-13 rated visual thriller that not only keeps the audience on their toes but also has an uplifting message of teamwork and love woven into the plot.

The movie begins with a senior in high school, Vee, played by Emma Roberts, finding out about Nerve, a game where the goal is to complete dares in exchange for money and undoubted fame. The game offers two modes of game: players who complete dares for money or watchers who pay to watch the dares anonymously.

Vee decides to join the game as a player and her first dare is to kiss a stranger for $100. The person she ends up kissing is a fellow seasoned player named Ian, played by Dave Franco, and an instant connection forms between the two. Together, they complete crazy dares including riding a motorcycle at 60 mph blindfolded through the city, cementing their alliance in the game. However, the pair must work together to stop Nerve as lives are put on the line, all for the sake of winning a game.

Directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman made some excellent decisions with character development and casting choices. Actress Emma Roberts was able to pull off the strong and complex character of Vee with ease. She effectively developed Vee from a shy girl with a camera to a rebellious teenager with a daring will. Roberts also had strong chemistry with the male lead, Dave Franco, which added depth to their characters’ romantic relationship in the movie.

However, what really made this film unique was the use of CGI to make the technology in the game jump out at the audience and make the game to come to life. In the beginning, the audience is introduced to Vee’s life through her computer screen: which college she wants to go to, who her crush is and her best friend. Later on, CGI is cleverly used to show who is still in the game as the game progresses with location taggers throughout the city. This incorporation of technology gives the film a fresh modern and futuristic feel.

Besides the CGI that was added into the film, the moving shots, especially in the beginning, were absolutely breathtaking. The camera captured soaring views from the skyline of the Big Apple in the morning to the illuminated streets of the city at night. One particular scene where the filmography stood out was Ian’s anxiety-inducing stunt hanging from a crane at dizzying heights above the city. These masterfully shot views were all set to the background of peppy and modern music which perfectly set the scene for this fast-paced movie.

Nerve is a modern film with high quality visuals and a movie that doesn’t seem to stop its fast pace. It incorporates an interesting combination between a fight for survival and finding love. Undoubtedly, it has a lot of teenage phrases, semi-nudity, alcohol and parties, but it simply adds to the story of a teenager growing up and trying to find her own path in life. Nerve can be rented on iTunes for $4.99 for some easily accessible entertainment on a whim. With an abundance of heart-stopping moments and outrageous dares, this movie is worth watching and deserves its People’s Choice Awards nomination for “Favorite Movie Thriller”.