“What if Pokemon Go was run by evil people?” is essentially the question this techno-thriller asks (you may, of course, say that it is, and be done with it). As such, the film’s release is impeccably timed, a perfect example of what I’m declaring zeitgangst – see what I did there?
Emma Roberts expertly plays a timid Staten Island teenager who is goaded into playing an online game, Nerve, by her more gregarious friend (played by the ever-interesting Emily Meade). The game involves a series of IRL (“in real life”, dummy!) dares that get pretty hairy. Danger ensues.
It’s tremendous fun, extremely zippy, and much more in tune with teen-speak and modern technology than many of its peers. The technology is also, for the most part, absolutely currently achievable, which makes buying the story a lot easier. Pity, then, that the third act goes haywire. But even then, after the logic book’s been tossed out the window, the fun book is still being consulted. If you google “popcorn movie”, you might just hit a Nerve.