Aaron Murray’s review published on Letterboxd:
When you're the duo that made the biggest film in the world, what do you do next? Do you make something bigger or decide fuck it, let's go small? Well, the Russo Brothers decided to do the latter and have a go at the whole Oscar/award season contender.
Now, I don't hate the Russos as much as some might. Winter Soldier & Infinity War are top tier Marvel movies and It's neat to see two people from a mostly sitcom background make completely different stuff outside of their usual wheelhouse. I respect them in some ways for making Cherry as their follow up to Endgame...I just really wish it was good.
Cherry follows an Army veteran played by Tom Holland who becomes a bank robber to support his opioid addiction. The film takes you on a journey through his beginnings as a student meeting who would later be his wife and how his downward spiral began.
Tom Holland is no doubt gonna be where a lot of the conversation of the film's reception is gonna be focused on. He tries his absolute best here with what he has but ultimately, the script just continuously lets him down and I just struggled to care about what his character was going through.
Cherry's central problem comes from just how empty it is as a film. It has a premise ripe for strong storytelling but it's almost as if the Russos looked at this film all wrong. For a true story, everything here just feels unbelievable and so haphazard. The flashy editing & direction ultimately goes nowhere and just feels like window dressing in a film that really shouldn't need it. The main relationship between Tom Holland & Ciara Bravo also lacks any real chemistry and every scene with them just feels so incredibly awkward.
It's clear that the Russos were inspired by the works of Scorsese & Tarantino while making this and I don't even think that's a bad thing. Say what you will about Joker being a "Scorsese rip-off", I still thought it done a fantastic job of telling it's story while wearing it's obvious influences on it's sleeve. Cherry is split into multiple parts with each one feeling different from the other. An interesting idea but it's one that makes the film just feel all over the place narratively. There's also some narration in here that's just...useless? It's a stylistic film inspired by iconic directors but it feels more like it's trying to keep you awake rather than using it's inspired style to it's advantage.
Cherry is so adamant that what we're seeing is so wild & crazy but it just feels like a whole lotta shit that we've seen before. Again, you can still strike gold with familiar subjects but the film just fails in almost every way to do just that. With a runtime of 2 hours and 20 minutes, it's way too long and I found myself just waiting for it to end after like the first hour.
This is a film that had potential to be something truly fantastic. It's exactly my kind of film but the Russo Brothers aren't willing to tackle Cherry with anything more than merely dipping it's toes into it's subject matter. The opioid crisis as a backdrop to this just feels so barebones and the opportunity to tell an emotional & heartbreaking story here just feels completely wasted. Tom Holland did his best but Cherry is a film that I honestly think will get completely forgotten about within a few weeks.
Should've just called it Cherk but nah the Russos just had to be cowards ://