Cherry; It’s no Avengers: Endgame... It’s No You, Me, and Dupree either. Grade: D+
Cherry tells a story about a college kid named Cherry (Tom Holland) who partakes in a romantic interest with Emily (Ciara Bravo). As Emily and Cherry were bound to go on their separate ways, as Emily wanted to go to school in Canada while Cherry wanted to join the military because Emily was leaving... They decided to remain together, as they plan to reunite after Cherry was done in Iraq. Unfortunately when Cherry got back from Iraq, he suffered PTSD as he was prescribed over the counter drugs, which led Cherry to not only become a hardcore drug addict, but to also become a bank robber... YUP.
It's been awhile since The Russo Brothers actually did something other than a repetitive Marvel flick... I like a couple of them, but let's be honest majority of those films are repetitive as they lack originality and boldness. 2006 The Russo Brothers had Marvel Studios attention, with their comedic hit You Me and Dupree... Listen I like that movie, but it's surprising this was their last movie they've made that wasn't a superhero flick. So I'm pleased with the fact The Russo Brothers finally step out of their comfort zone, as they tried something new.
Truth be told The Russo Brothers actually tried to be unlike the MCU, as they tried to be bold as they were bringing in some risks. For example: Style... Boy they really tried to bring in something different to the table. Including transitions towards aspect ratio, color pallet, and of course who could forget odd pauses within scenes of characters faces. I appreciate the effort in trying to take on risks... However my major complaint with this film is the style within itself, as it can get a bit nauseating to watch and also rather confusing some. Transition to different aspect ratios is nothing new, Trey Edwards Shultz does it ever so often within his films especially his excellent work of art Waves. The difference between Shultz and The Russo Brothers is within each different aspect ratio it serves as a moral purpose, in this film it doesn't really have much of a purpose only to be flashy. The transitions with different color pallets was also rather confusing, I also really hated the random odd pauses taking a brief detour from the film as it can be rather goofy and extremely unnecessary as well.
The narrative itself reminded me of 2017's Thank You For Your Service, regarding the subject matter of veterans suffering from PTSD and finding lack of work, which results in partaking drug addiction, crime, and so forth. I felt the difference was Thank You For Your Service is a much more engaging narrative, as it kept itself fairly matured, tamed, as you kept your interest from start to finish. I would say the narrative of Cherry for the most part is fairly engaging within the first two acts, the style does become much of a distraction however your interest in the story still remains to a bare minimum. I felt where the film kind of let itself go is the third act, as not only did it get repetitive, but it also was extremely obnoxious, over the top in terms of goofiness, and it honestly made myself rather sick. Once Cherry becomes an inexperienced God Awful Bank Robber, who keeps shooting up heroine in his veins and his wife's veins... It just becomes a pretty stupid film. The logic goes out the door, as you're trying to figure out why haven't the cops caught this moron?! Seriously he's the worst bank robber I've ever seen in my entire life and yet the cops can't quite figure out just how to catch him?! His altercations with drug dealers becomes very silly and unrealistic, plus the headache inducing moments with Cherry's idiotic friend really makes you question what exactly is going on here and why is everyone a complete idiot in this world?!
The drug usage is extremely obnoxious, as the film literally shoves it down your throat as if you are being shot with heroin yourself. The way other films have shown drug usage works much better, as this film takes it way too extreme as you find yourself extremely sick. At least this film taught me a valuable lesson when it comes to drugs: 1. Don't Ever Do Drugs. 2. Don't ever trust a Psychiatrist... The chances of you becoming a hardcore drug addict are in your favor, if you listen to them. One last complaint regarding drugs in this film: How come they let Emily go off on her own, trusting her to go to rehab on her own?! Like I saw her going off the bus, as Cherry strictly begged her to go to rehab, one minute you have Emily's family care about her by forbidding her to see Cherry, yet they don't look after her to make sure she gets to rehab, after almost dying from a heroin overdose?! Like I said: Everyone in this world in this film is an idiot.
Tom Holland however does redeem himself from the embarrassing performance in Chaos Walking, as he was honestly the best part of this entire film. Holland put in a great amount of effort in delivering a powerful great performance, as this troubled individual suffering from PTSD and suffering from a drug addiction.
The ending of this film how it wraps up, tone wise was very off putting. Just because of everything that happened earlier, leading up to this oddly self motivating ending just doesn't fit right. Maybe if the film spent less time on obnoxious drug usage moments and stupid bank robbery moments, as they would spend more time on Cherry's recovery where the ending does feel earned... Then it would possibly work. Cherry is a project in which people actually tried, however a fair amount of the risks taken just doesn't pay off as also the narrative does get a bit lost in the process.
Overall, Cherry was a bit lousy for my taste. I don't recommend this film, I highly suggest watching Thank You For Your Service instead. -Mitch Smietana