Nerve, 2016

This 2016 American thriller-adventure film, directed by Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman (written by Jessica Sharzer) is based on a 2012 novel ‘Nerve’ by Jeanne Ryan. This film revolves around a secret online game of ‘truth or dare, without the truth’ which allows people to enlist as ‘players’ or ‘watchers’ as the game escalates. Performing a dare and filming it on your profile in the game allows you to receive cash – the riskier the dare, the more cash you receive.

The game collects personal data and explains three rules:

  1. All dares must be recorded on the player’s phone
  2. Earned money will be revoked in a player bails on or fails the dare
  3. A player must not report the game to law enforcement ‘or else’ 

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This film stars Emma Roberts as the main protagonist and player of Nerve (Venus “Vee”  Delmonico), Dave Franco as Vee’s partner, fellow player, and lover in Nerve (Ian/Sam), Machine Gun Kelly (Ty) a fellow player and Ian’s old friend, Miles Hiezer (Tommy) one of Vee’s friends who has a crush on her and is a hacker, Emily Meade (Sydney) one of Vee’s friends, as well as Kimiko Glenn (Liv) another one of her friends.

After Vee’s friend Sydney humiliates her in front of her crush, Vee signs up for Nerve and meets Ian and competes with him because of her ‘watchers’ liking them together. Throughout the film, they do dares together, including getting tattoos and driving blindfolded, but are competing against Ty in the Top 10 Leaderboards – everyone wants to be number 1 and the top 2 go to The Finals.

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Consequences rain upon Vee when she tries to tell the police about Nerve, and her earnings, as well as her mother’s account are drained.

During The Finals, which takes place in an abandoned stadium, Vee and Ian are against each other and are both given guns. The dare is ‘Shoot your opponent’. Ian offers to throw the competition, but Ty steps up to take Ian’s place. Vee criticizes the watchers and tells them that they are all cowards and they should have ‘nerve’ to show their masked faces. A vote is cast and Ty is forced to shoot Vee.

Meanwhile, Tommy and his hackers decrypt the watcher’s codenames who voted to shoot Vee and sends them a message through the Nerve system saying ‘You are an accessory to murder’ and all watchers are logged out, shutting down Nerve’s system. 

Vee is revealed to be unharmed and that she and Ty staged her murder to shut down the servers. All money is restored to her mother’s account and everyone’s identities are restored. Ian reveals that his real name is Sam and the pair become a couple.

I think this movie packs a very important message about internet safety and that with improper use, it can conquer your life in more than one way. I liked it partially as well because I love and respect both Dave and Emma as actors as well as the directors (Henry and Ariel) and this was definitely and must-see for me.

Nerve earns a 4/5 from me and is available on DVD to purchase.

 

 

 

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The 5th Wave, 2016

The 5th Wave, released in 2016, is an American science-fiction thriller film directed by J Blakeson and screenplay by Susannah Grant. Based on the novel ‘The 5th Wave’ by Rick Yancey, Chloë Grace Moretz plays Cassie Sullivan, an Ohio high schooler. Her brother, Sam, played by Zackary Arthur, is taken by the military and she goes to find him.

The 5th Wave

This all begins when a city-sized spacecraft containing extraterrestrials – referred to as ‘The Others’ – circles the Earth and slowly eliminates all life. They do this in Waves.

The 1st Wave releases an electromagnetic pulse throughout the world that destroys all electrical power, including cellphones, cars, and aircrafts.

The 2nd Wave causes tsunamis that destroys and kills everyone living in coastal cities.

For the 3rd Wave, The Others use the strain of avian flu to their advantage and use birds as carriers of the virus, most of the population was wiped out.

The 4th Wave begins and it’s simple: trust no one. The remaining adult survivors discover that The Others are now hunting them and are taking human hosts to blend in. Anyone among you could be an Other. Children are separated from their families and trained with the army to fight The Others because the government is predicting a 5th Wave. They are the last hope.

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We later find out that the military personnel that trained the children are actually The Others that have taken them as hosts. They were training children to kill survivors. Some of the children – with some help by one of the survivors – bomb the facility and the survivors and Cassie are reunited and get out safely.

I think it’s interesting that the military, being an entity that we as a society have been raised to respect and believe, was not who we thought they were. I think that that’s a very prevalent issue, because I’m a firm believer in conspiracy theories – and I know the stigma dictates that those who believe in conspiracy theories are all ‘crazy’. I do think that the military and the government, at least the American government, hides things from the public. However, that’s another story for another time, but I think that’s the reason why this movie sparked so much interest within me.

This movie was intriguing and it kept my attention, which I’ve found difficult with some genres, earning itself a 4/5 stars from me.

The 5th Wave is available on Sky Movies as well as DVD.