Tag Archives: Joe Russo

Cherry

Apparently the man’s name is Cherry. Let’s just deal with that and move on.

Cherry (Tom Holland) is a bit of a drifter. Too heartbroken for college, he joins the army instead, and predictably hates it pretty thoroughly. As a medic, he sees all the worst stuff, so even when he returns home to true love/new wife Emily (Ciaro Bravo), life isn’t exactly perfect. Riddled with PTSD, life unravels, and pretty soon both Cherry and Emily are coping with heroine. As you may be aware, nothing good has ever happened on heroine. Nothing. Best case scenario, you end up robbing banks to support your habit. Which, coincidentally, is exactly what happens to Cherry.

One bad decision after the next, it’s hard to watch Cherry spiral down a hole you know he won’t come out of. Worse, he takes Emily down with him.

Cherry is a great showcase for Tom Holland, who gets to stretch and show range as a once bright and promising kid who gets swallowed up by the convergence of two of the 21st Century’s greatest epidemics. Unfortunately, it’s a less impressive effort from Holland’s frequent MCU directors, Joe and Anthony Russo. Is Cherry over-directed? It may be the case; it definitely feels a bit style over substance. The cinematography is great and movie lovers will have no problem picking out references to other movies, but the truth is, Cherry doesn’t offer a lot that’s new. Sean felt he was watching Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, minus the humour. I felt like they were aiming for something more intimate, but after years of success in the Marvel universe, the Russos are perhaps a little rusty at delivering a more character-centric film. They drive the film with constant momentum but never pause long enough to drum up pathos or empathy. It’s at least 3 different movies stuffed into the bloated corpse of just one, with a run time to prove it.

This movie has some merit, but not enough to justify itself.

Extraction

Happy weekend, everyone! Shall we celebrate with Netflix’s new action flick starring Chris Hemsworth? Let’s discuss.

The plot, such as it is, can be summed up in only one word, which they’ve helpfully made the title: extraction. Picture this: two rival drug lords, one imprisoned and ruthless, the other not currently imprisoned and also super ruthless. The unimprisoned one kidnaps the imprisoned one’s kid, even though the imprisoned drug lord seems not to be the most doting or devoted of fathers, but it’s the principle of the thing, and he’s pissed. Pissed enough to take it out on his own people, threatening to execute their children if they fail to retrieve his. His henchman is a little more fond of his kids, so he goes straight to the best in the biz, Australian Tyler Rake (Hemsworth), a fearless black market mercenary.

Rake drops into India like it ain’t no thing, yoinks the kid (Rudhraksh Jaiswal) out of the evil clutches of his kidnappers, but then has the nearly insurmountable task of navigating an incredibly dense city teeming with an underworld of weapons dealers and traffickers where good guys, if there are any, are indistinguishable from the baddies. Also: Tyler Rake is a sad and broken man, so he may not be as motivated to stay alive as you’d normally like your rescuer to be.

Sean thought this movie was “not very good” and I thought it was “definitely an action movie.” It should be said that Sean generally likes action movies and I’m a little harder to impress. Evidence you’ll need to decipher whether this particular action movie is for you:

1. Hemsworth is only shirtless once, from behind

2. great close combat scenes, very slice and dicey

3. no time wasted on “story” or “character” or “reality”

4. 12 minute long single-take action sequence that really satisfies the bloodlust

5. based on the graphic novel Ciudad by Ande Parks and the Russo brothers

6. the violence is graphic, aimless, and relentless, and often perpetrated by (and against!) children

7. feels a bit like a first person shooter game

8. the stunts are pretty spectacular

9. if you squint hard enough, an assault rifle sorta looks like Mj√∂lnir (Thor’s hammer)

10. doubles as psa for road safety

Avengers: Endgame

Avengers: Endgame is three hours of payoff for anyone who liked the MCU’s 21 other films to date. If you loved them, all the better – Endgame will fill your geeky little heart with joy. And if you couldn’t stand them? Then stay far, far away from this one as it is everything you hated about the other films times 3,000.

Without getting into details, and in the interest of avoiding spoilers, I think it’s safe to say that after Thanos turned half the universe into dust at the end of Avengers: Infinity War, the survivors are set on undoing Thanos’ finger snap. Other than that, I’m going to let you go in blind like I did, because it’s always best that way, isn’t it?

Despite being somewhat disappointed by Infinity War’s ending because it felt inevitable that it would be undone, I was still excited going into Endgame and I was not let down. For superhero fans, Endgame is three hours of greatness. So many story arcs are wrapped up in this film and each feels like a fitting conclusion to everything we’ve seen so far. Directors Anthony and Joe Russo have been here before (also directing Infinity War, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and Captain America: Civil War) and it shows, as they expertly manage the on-screen action. I’d say this is their best work.

We can debate that, and we can also debate whether or not Endgame is the best of the MCU movies (it’s definitely in the running). But I am confident in saying that Endgame is hands-down the most remarkable entry in the MCU and the most stunning superhero achievement so far. Endgame is a three hour film that is over in a snap, it’s a perfect capper to the last ten years of Marvel films, and it contains some of the greatest moments in the entire series, especially for the MCU’s big three, Captain America (Chris Evans), Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.), and Thor (Chris Hemsworth).

I loved Endgame. It is far better than it needed to be, far better than I expected it to be, and an absolute must-see for every superhero fan.