A college dropout joins the army, returns with PTSD, becomes
a heroin addict, and robs banks to pay for his addiction.
Directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo
Written by Angela Russo-Otstot and Jessica Goldberg
Staring Tom Holland, Ciara Bravo, Jack Reynor, Forrest Goodluck, Jeff Wahlberg, Michael Gandolfini, Daniel R. Hill
Based on the novel by Nico Walker
Cherry is an interesting film, mostly because it's three different films mushed together with no real theme or point. There's teases of various themes, but nothing concrete. Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo are painfully miscast, the film is way too long, and the characters are so unlikable that it ruins any chance the film has of being something special. After all, our hero is a bank-robbing junkie who joined the army because he thought his girlfriend left him. Not exactly a beacon of good decision-making.
Holland is an unnamed protagonist referred to as Cherry. He's also our narrator, and what he has to say is equal parts freshman philosophy class and psychotic manifesto. When he falls in love with Emily (Bravo), he devotes everything to her. When she decides to leave him and go to Montreal, Cherry joins the army on a whim, then finds out she's changed her mind. In short, over the course of the film, Emily proves herself to be a manipulative, toxic partner who ruins his life. And he turns her into a dope fiend, so I guess there are no winners here. When Cherry returns from deployment, he's stricken with PTSD and gets addicted to smack. He turns to bank-robbing to make ends meet, and the film makes it seem like robbing a bank is super easy. This film is a mess.
It's hard to believe Cherry is from the guys who delivered three of the greatest superhero movies of all time. We feel no emotional attachment to these characters who consistently and frequently ruin their own lives by making the worst decisions possible. You can't empathize with self-destructive junkies. Add to that a sewn-together story that feels dishonest and manufactured the whole time, and you've got a definite misfire that will fall into obscurity.