Cherry ★½

Cherry is the type of film that could have been great. It could have been a really complex and unique character study that used stylistic choices to enhance the story and a very good performance by Tom Holland. Unfortunately, this is anything but that.

If I had to use one word to describe this movie, it would be "pretentious." It's so self absorbed in being this flashy, bonkers, and ambitious film that it completely forgets to tell a good story. It's all style, no substance, and every time it was hinted at going in a potentially interesting direction, it never did anything with it.

Tom Holland is clearly giving it his all here and he does a good job. But this movie does him no favors. His character is so bland and unlikable that Holland's performance suffers because of it. His character is frankly disgusting and any chance of even caring about him was immediately thrown out the window, despite Holland's likability as an actor.

The Russo Brothers are very ambitious directors, and I appreciate that about them. But they were way in over their heads here. It's like they knew the story was uninteresting so they tried to cover it up with these crazy visuals. But because there isn't a single scene or shot that plays out normally, it's a rather distracting experience.

The writing being pretty bad doesn't help either. The whole movie is largely balancing on this relationship between Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo and I couldn't have cared less about it. They don't have much chemistry, the way their relationship unfolds is extremely rushed, clichéd, and feels like something straight out of a Lifetime movie.

The characters develop very little over the course of the (long) two hour and twenty one minute runtime, so when it ends and is supposed to feel all emotional like there was a real journey, it doesn't feel well earned because it never felt like there was any journey to begin with.

The pacing is also rather bad and all over the place. It can never seem to make its mind on what it wants to be about, and I think that really hurt the story in the long run.

The cinematography is really good and Tom Holland gives a very solid performance. But unfortunately, everything else largely falls flat here, and I wasn't invested at all in what could have been something really cool. Everyone involved was clearly trying to make something unique and distinct, and I commend the Russo Brothers for their stylistic choices here. It's just a shame that none of them worked.

Rating: D+

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