Title – Cherry (2021)
Directors – Anthony and Joe Russo (Avengers: Endgame)
Cast – Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Jack Reynor, Michael Gandolfini
Plot – College dropout turned Army medic Cherry (Holland) finds his life spiralling out of control when he returns from the Middle East with severe PTSD and a newfound drug habit that see’s him turning to bank robberies to help fund his new lifestyle.
“Sometimes I wonder if life was wasted on me”
Review by Eddie on 28/06/2021
The first film they’ve directed since the one-two double smash that was Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame, Marvel heroes Anthony and Joe Russo have barely sat ideal since their global box office dominating hits landed, with their newly launched production company (responsible for last years overrated Netflix hit Extraction) keeping them on their toes and this high profile Apple release showcasing their lives away from the Marvel wheelhouse.
Adapting Nico Walker semi-autobiographical book that deals with PTSD, war, addiction and bank robbery, Cherry is a film loaded with ideas, situations and opportunities but this over-long and over-stylised affair that is the very definition of all flash no substance is a disappointing affair from the directing siblings who manage to squander a game leading man and a potentially loaded narrative on an end effort that is notable only in its ability to disappear from a viewers memory almost instantaneously.
Going the Fight Club dark comedy meta route that also tries to mould together with some type of Jarhead like vibe (with Tom Holland’s Cherry even directly addressing the audience on more than one occasion), the Russo’s seem obsessed with never letting Cherry sit back and find its own voice or reason as they mess with aspect ratios, on screen text and odd filming/editing choices, with Cherry feeling like a way too show off how “cool” and inventive the director’s can be, rather than a film made to capture an audience in a tale of one man’s downfall in the midst of traumatic experiences he faced fighting for his country.
Once more doing his best to shed his innocent Spider-Man boy wonder image, Tom Holland gives it his all here as the Russo’s leading man.
In almost every single scene of the film and getting a lot of time to work with a multi-dimensional character we never truly feel an affiliation towards nor a true understanding of what drives them forward, Holland is the main reason to watch this flashy exercise in self-excess and its his most wild performance yet as Cherry goes on a life-changing experience through war, drugs and the dealing with ones bad decisions and its through no fault of this talented performer that the film his in fails to make a mark.
In some ways Cherry may be the type of film that finds itself reevaluated in the years down the track with alternative views lending their voices to a film ahead of its time and one that pokes fun at the American way of life but as it stands right now at this day and time Cherry feels like a self-indulgent and over confident affair that manages to say very little about a wide ranging group of topics as its confident nature gets lost in a procession of scenes and situations that never join together to create an overly cohesive or fulfilling tale.
Final Say –
A major step back for the Russo brothers from the behemoth’s that were the last two Avengers films, Cherry is jam-packed with ideas and potential but its obsession with its own style and showmanship can’t make up for the fact its weak storytelling and character development leave a lot too be desired.
2 safes out of 5