Nerve would have been the perfect dissertation on post 2010 online culture, had it not felt so obliged to be morally correct.
A while ago, I told my mum about the horrific fad of youngsters uploading videos of themselves snuffing animals. After the initial shock, she quickly rationalised the crime, so to speak, and insisted these monsters were doing it for money. To avoid arguing with her, I feigned agreement. But in my heart, I lamented how the real reason was probably for momentary glory. While I had not the joy of experiencing such glory, I could easily imagine how intoxicating it could be. That incredible euphoria, when one seems, if only for seconds, unmatched in the eyes of the world.
Nerve feels to agree with my mum with its premise of young adults motivated by money to attempt daredevil stunts. What’s smart about the movie is how it then reveals that money is but the facade. The real culprits here being fame and indulgence. Overall, the story is deftly presented, with other Internet myths woven in, and with some of the attempted stunts truly unnerving to watch. Unfortunately, this gritty narration is ultimately pulled down by a cringe-worthy, “social responsibility” sermon in the climax. I take it the producers were obliged to do so to avoid controversy. Still, for a movie to adopt such a harsh opinion about Internet culture, then hide under the greater misconception that things could end ******** **** *****, doesn’t that just compromise the impact of the overall message? An unapologetic ending would have seriously made for a far more effective ending.
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