Now, there is no denying that Tom Holland is coming, if not already, the biggest actor on the big screen. Starring in the MCU’s Spider-Man movies, The Devil All The Time, Onward, and other great movies, he’s no doubt going to be around for a while. Now, Imagine, you’re the Russo Brothers, you just came off a box-office beast of a movie in Avengers: Endgame and you have one of the best actors from the MCU, how do you differentiate yourself from one of the biggest movies of all time? You write a movie that takes a vastly different approach from your past movies, so when Cherry came out on Apple TV+, I was excited to see an actor flex his acting muscles in a more serious role and talented directors make a movie that they want to make and well…it’s underwhelming.
Understandably, Cherry is a different movie from other Russo Brothers’ movies, the Russos are amazingly creative directors who wanted to make an unquestionably unique film and that’s my first issue with this film. There’s simply too much going on in the movie. Color hue changes, a wide-screen to a 4:3 change (and back to wide-screen), and halting screeches to the pacing at times make the movie feel disjointed and while chapters in the past have worked in favor of movies in the past, it doesn’t here and this movie running about two and a half hours, that’s a quality that is not ideal.
Secondly, the rest of the actors in the movie don’t do perform as well as Holland does which makes most scenes feel drab at times with the exception of Circa Bravo who I feel matches Holland’s performance but even then, there are moments that it feels like Holland and acting is carrying a whole scene by himself which is a movie where the character interactions are very important can kill a scene.
Lastly, the movie feels like it’s saying too much yet not saying enough. While watching this movie, I felt like there were a million moving parts at times, I was overwhelmed with both scenes and information that I didn’t want nor need and the parts people want to see aren’t there. No, I don’t want to know how Tom Holland’s asshole looks like from the inside (yes, that’s a real scene) nor do I want to see/hear Tom Holland masturbating in a port-a-potty (again, that’s a real scene), in that port-a-potty masturbation scene, there’s a voiceover from Holland saying that he doesn’t watch porn and can/wants to only masturbate to his wife. We don’t get many intimate scenes between Holland and Bravo, there’s a couple of moments where we do get that intimate scenes but that’s all it is, just moments in a long movie but these small moments are very powerful.
However, after the boot camp chapter of the movie, the movie gets better. The pacing is better, the weird color hue changes are gone and overall, the movie just flows better. While Holland’s acting is phenomenal throughout the whole movie, in the latter half of the movie, it feels like he’s stretching out his acting wings, from a soldier struggling with PTSD and becoming a drug addict, Holland gives an amazing, Oscar-worthy performance, something that his roles in the MCU don’t really let him do as such. The chemistry between Bravo and Holland is amazing and you get sucked into our relationship, there’s a weight that their relationship carried in the movie, it felt like everything can fall apart any second when I was watching it.
Overall, this movie has strong performances and a second-half that has you gripping your seat, a lack-luster first half, weak performances, and awkward, unnecessary artistic choices limit this movie from reaching great heights. 6/10.