Cherry (2021)
March 23, 2021 7:47 PM - Subscribe

Cherry drifts from college dropout to army medic in Iraq - anchored only by his true love, Emily. But after returning from the war with PTSD, his life spirals into drugs and crime as he struggles to find his place in the world.

The film is based on the true story of Nico Walker, who wrote a book of the same title following a BuzzFeed article telling his story more briefly. The movie is noteworthy for being directed by Anthony Russo and Joe Russo, better known as the MCU stalwarts who directed Avengers: Endgame among other films, and starring Tom Holland, the latest actor to play Spider-Man on the big screen; the film co-stars Ciara Bravo, whose credits include Girly Vader.

Reviews... have not been kind.
posted by Halloween Jack (3 comments total)
I watched this in part to see how Holland and the Russos were going to follow up their MCU work, and in part because I wanted to see if the reviews were right; quite a few of them, aside from catty comments about how the Russos and Holland were just trying to get some serious dramacred (as if, you know, there's something wrong with that), were like, "Oh, we've seen all this before." And it's true that a lot of movies about addiction have a strong degree of resemblance to one another: you use the drugs, and then the drugs use you. That's the way that addiction works in real life, for the most part, so, if you're being honest, that's the script. But this movie is also very much relevant to its times, between the general lack of good jobs, the degree to which veterans of the recent wars are used up and thrown away, and the culpability of the medical profession in prescribing highly addictive opiates. There are some storytelling devices that the Russos use that are kind of distracting, and the made-up names of the bank that Cherry robs ("Shitty Bank" and "Capitalist One") seem as much intended to try to leaven the unrelenting grimness of the film with a bit of humor as they were to not use the name of real banks that might sue. I suspect that a lot of the negative reviews were simply reflecting the desire of many of the reviewers not to be reminded of just how crappy American life was even before the pandemic; Holland and the Russos probably could have gotten away with a bank robber film that was more of a comedy caper, but that's not what they wanted to do, and what they did was better (even with its flaws) than its reputation would have it.
posted by Halloween Jack at 6:50 AM on March 24, 2021 [2 favorites]

It was well shot, and the descent into opioid addiction for both Cherry and Emily feels realistic as was a lot of the junky behaviour.

The bank robberies themselves, maybe not.

Liked comparing army life and prison life, but I wish they spent more time addressing Cherry's ongoing PTSD while in prison.
posted by porpoise at 6:59 PM on March 26, 2021

Yeah, I felt like the prison montage was their trying not to be too much like the typical addiction/recovery story. Like, I understood that Cherry was going to recovery meetings, then chairing them, but that was because I go to meetings--someone else may not have made that connection.
posted by Halloween Jack at 11:11 AM on March 27, 2021

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