Nerve (2016) - 3 out of 4
We live in a post-Pokemon Go world. Nearly every software company is getting their feet wet with the idea of gamification. As someone who is part of this industry and cares deeply about the topics (mainly invasion of privacy) explored in the film, Nerve particularly touched a chord with me. In many ways, it captures the zeitgeist of the time we're living in right now.
People crave online popularity. They're more interested in absorbing world through their internet devices than through inter-personal interaction. (This is one of the many reasons Pokemon Go turned out to be a huge success.) And they'll do anything if it'll get them a few more followers/likes/retweets.
Nerve works marvelously as a techno-thriller because it understands everything in the above paragraph and is so in-touch with it. I was on the edge of my seat for many scenes because I knew what I'm seeing on-screen is actually plausible in the world I live in. That gives it an added edge a lot of similar films simply don't have.
Nerve covers many topics I'm personally invested in. Invasion of privacy comes up a lot in the film because the game already knows about all of the people taking part in it from their Facebook profiles. (My favorite line in the film is when Vee tells Sydney: "Use a payphone.") But I personally liked how the film portrayed Internet anonymity. The internet has made it easy for some anonymous person to destroy other people's lives. (Doxxing is an example of this.) Nerve's central theme comes down to how wrong and damaging this is.
There are issues with the film, no doubt. Some of the computer-sciency aspects of the Nerve game just don't add up. This is especially true towards the end which has people trying to bring the game down. And it can simply be seen as a YA-thriller when all is said and done. But I still enjoyed it a lot and it made me contemplate a lot about the world we live and how the industry I'm part of is slowly destroying it.