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
I’ve not seen this film and am not sure if I plan to any time soon, but I’m curious about what sorts of roles or storylines you believe would effectively shake Tom Holland’s “innocent Spider-Man boy wonder image.”
I think his done about as much as he can with roles like this and Devil All the Time but its going to be very hard to shake for him due to the Spider-Man image, plus he genuinely does seem like a teenager with his boyish looks.
I was actually really looking forward to seeing this, given the talent involved, but I never got around because I don’t have Apple TV (but I heard it’s a worthwhile streaming service to invest in). So, it’s heartbreaking to hear how it’s a letdown.
I’m usually a guy who usually really loves technical aspects of a movie, but it just sounds like the Russos were just ducking around with stuff. I recently reviewed a movie called Censor, that does a lot with aspect ratio, lighting, and color. But it has a purpose there because it’s replicating the style of early 80s Video Nasties.
I’m glad that Tom Holland was really good in it. He’s an actor I’m really looking forward to seeing what he does outside of the MCU ( I loved the hell out of him in The Devil All the Time).
I’m with you that I can see this movie gaining an audience or reevaluation in a few years (sort of like Ryan Gosling’s Lost River). But for now, this is a misfire. Hope the Russos’ next project isn’t such a mess.
Be really keen to hear what you think of this one if you do end up catching it mate.
I don’t know many that have actually seen it (Apple isn’t overly popular here in Aus) and I feel as though some people would love it!
As a fan of the Russo’s ever since Welcome to Collinwood I hope they can get something special underway with their next project.
I’ll probably add Apple TV to my streaming services once my finances improve, as I heard that they have some really great shows, and I’m really looking forward to that Foundation series they have that’s coming up.
I think the Russos’ next project, The Gray Man, seems pretty promising. Has one stacked cast (I love both Ryan Gosling and Chris Evans).
Oh this sounds good! Gosling and Evans should make a good team.
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