'Cherry' has needlessly long runtime, overall a bummer

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The Russo brothers are back at it again with the release of “Cherry'' starring Tom Holland. The film was originally released in theatres on Feb. 26 with a later release date of March 12 on Apple TV+. 

The film follows Tom Holland’s character ‘Cherry’ as he navigates his way through life. The film opens up on the classic cliche of Cherry finding himself in a situation and talking directly to the audience before flashing back to how he got to that point. Unless it's a Disney Channel Original Movie, this opening choice just doesn’t really work for me. 

Similarly, Cherry has sporadic points in the film in which he breaks the fourth wall to narrate to the audience, but they aren’t consistent with the idea and abandon it halfway through the movie. 

The movie is split into multiple parts. Part one shows Cherry meeting his wife Emily, played by Ciara Bravo, in college before enlisting in the Army. Part two shows Cherry in basic training while part three follows him throughout his deployment.   

Seems pretty normal at first right? You would think so, but the Russos decided to try to make each of the first four parts have a different style. Within the first four parts of the movie the Russos tried to emulate a coming of age movie, a Vietnam style war movie and a more modern war story. I appreciate the ambition, but it didn’t work. Fortunately, the last hour of the movie is shot all within the same style.  

Additionally the movie is two and a half hours long. And for no good reason. The first hour of the film could have easily been reduced to a half hour montage. It really didn’t add anything to the movie besides unnecessary minutes into the runtime. Same goes for the epilogue, it wasn’t really needed and if it had to be included it could’ve easily been a two minute scene instead of 25. 

It felt like the true plot of the movie didn’t begin until after Cherry returned from war and began to deal with mental health issues which led to addiction which then led to a life of crime. The back half of the movie is the true strength of “Cherry” but yet, it’s still not that great. It tells a story that’s been done a hundred times before without doing anything new. There is nothing to make this movie stand out. Nothing good, that is.   

I’m also pretty sure that the Russos discovered editing effects over quarantine. This movie has a ridiculous amount of effects that did absolutely nothing for the movie. 

The one saving grace of this movie is the performances by Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo. The emotions they portrayed felt very real and it was nice to see Holland play a character who was actually the same age as him. At first it was hard for me to take Bravo seriously since I have only seen her in the Nickelodeon series “Big Time Rush,” but she pleasantly surprised me with her range. That being said, even their great performances couldn’t save the movie. 

Honestly, “Cherry” is not worth the two and half hours of your life. It’s unfortunate that Tom Holland and Ciara Bravo are the faces of such a mediocre movie. I would love to see them both appear in more mature movies in the future, just not directed by the Russos.  

The views expressed are those of the writer and do not necessarily reflect those of The Torch. 

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