★★ | by Michael
Posted on Mar 27, 2021
Cherry (Tom Holland) drifts from college dropout to army medic in Iraq-anchored only by his one true love, Emily (Ciara Bravo). But after returning from the war with PTSD, his life spirals into drugs.
Anthony and Joe Russo’s Cherry has some great moments. Its hard-hitting drug scenes, its observation of the horrors of war are just two examples. Its not-so-great moments are its run time and its over-complicated plot.
I’ll start with the great moments first and one of the moments is the performance of Tom Holland. Breaking out of his charming portrayal of Spider-Man (sometimes at the hands of the Russo brothers), Holland shows us he is more than capable of taking on a drug taking, war going American. A special mention goes out to Ciara Bravo who plays an innocent student, only to be taken in by the life of a drug user. I didn’t see Bravo playing that type of character, but like Holland, she has proven me wrong.
Let’s talk plot. I picture an editing room with Anthony and Joe Russo, who has just been told that, despite only being 2/3rds of the way through their story, their run time is four hours, and they need to do some shaving. That’s what the film felt like. A lot of substance and extra content in the first two hours, only to be rushed to a resolution in the final 20 minutes. That’s only one aspect of the plot that bugged me.
There is so much opportunity for a film but unfortunately the Russo Brothers have given us a film that is broken down into parts, which are displayed on screen, and each part is a different genre. It may work in the writing room, but it didn’t work in the final product. It’s award-worthy work by Holland, but unfortunately this mess is going to get him nowhere near the nominations list.
To sum up, there are many things wrong with Cherry, but Tom Holland manages to pull us through the entire charade of a plot the Russo Brothers have over-complicated. If you like Holland, this film will be a good watch.