Cherry ★½

The Russos really thought Martin Scorsese was going to call them and apologize if they rivaled his f-word record, huh?

This is awful. The Russos take a story that’s not entirely original but still holds promise for compelling storytelling… and run it into the ground. It’s painfully disjointed, trying to be five different movies at once and succeeding at absolutely none of them. The Russos use techniques that feel like they came from a first-year film student who’s just binged Euphoria, only to abandon them fifteen minutes later for new ones. The narration is exhaustingly constant, wanting to be biting and introspective with witty lines but ultimately just proving how ill-prepared the screenwriters were for adapting a book. There are scenes where it seems to be reaching a destination or message – the scene with the counselor made me feel like they were going to do a commentary on the lack of support for veterans’ PTSD – but it immediately dives into a deep pit of torture porn. I didn’t think this was irredeemable until the drug storyline began, but when it does begin… Holland is admittedly very good, and he proves that he can do a lot more than quippy lines under a mask, with enough occasional subtlety that I wish he didn’t so often have to go louder and wilder to match the high-octane chaos of everything else going on. It’s also hard to focus on his great performance when it’s paired with Ciara Bravo’s terrible work. Cherry is using so many words to say so little, and the fact that all the character development and growth is glossed over in the last five minutes in a silent montage proves that it’s much more interested in shock value than an actual arc. It’s almost poetic how the Russos were so afraid of not being respected by every single person in Hollywood that their overeager attempt to prove their very small group of haters wrong gave them a lot more reasons to be ridiculed.