Starring: David Andrews, Melanie Griffith, Pamela Gidley
Director: Steve De Jarnatt
Running Time: 99 mins
Cherry 2000 is an American film about a near future where a man lives with the perfect woman, but after losing her in an accident, he sets out on an epic journey alongside a bounty hunter to recover an exact duplicate.
Dystopian sci-fi has always been a particular fondness of the genre, yet there was something about the late 70s, 80s and early 90s that helped it flourish with new ideas and worlds. In that same vein, Cherry 2000 presents some interesting visions of a near future, combined with good imagination, although it uses up most of its imagination on just that, with a story that’s really rather underwhelming, and an atmosphere that lacks the palpable intrigue of a really strong dystopian sci-fi.
Let’s start off on the bright side, though, with the fact that if you’re a fan of this genre, you’ll be really excited by what Cherry 2000 has to offer. Along with typical tropes of a near future dystopia, Cherry 2000 finds a good balance between a dark vision of the future and some of the more fun, outlandish futurist predictions that often make these films such an enjoyable watch.
So, while it’s a surprisingly grounded film throughout, you can still sit back and enjoy some of its more imaginative creations, the most interesting of which is the main focus of the story: robot wives. With the main character setting out on a quest to find an exact replica of his beloved android wife, the film looks quite in depth at how the reality of robot wives/girlfriends etc. could come about, and how humans would react to their wider use in society.
What’s even more interesting is when you consider the parallels between that story in this film and that of Blade Runner 2049, which clearly took huge inspiration from Cherry 2000. While Blade Runner’s Joy is a holographic wife instead of a robot, there’s the same emotional attention to detail at times that brings the concept into a more interesting light, and it’s surprising to see that a film like Cherry 2000 can take the credit for the influence of one of Blade Runner 2049’s most memorable ideas.
With that said, however, there’s not all that much more to marvel at with Cherry 2000, and while it has some interesting and imaginative visions of the future, its core plot is far less to be impressed by. In effect a generic adventure quest that takes the main characters across a variety of landscapes and pits them against a series of adversaries, there’s not all that much intrigue or excitement at hand, and with that it suffers in similar fashion to the rather dragging and empty third act of Logan’s Run.
The story also puts David Andrews together with Melanie Griffith, who plays a hard-as-knuckles bounty hunter who’s worlds away from the soft touch of Andrews’ beloved robot companion. Inevitably, their relationship becomes a focal point of the movie, but along with a relatively underwhelming turn from Andrews that fails to show his real love for his robot wife, his and Griffith’s relationship just never has that spark needed to really grab you, and ultimately proves a really rather dull and annoyingly predictable part of the movie.
Finally, the film also struggles when it comes to giving it a potent and striking sci-fi atmosphere. Again, it has the imagination and the ideas, but director Steve De Jarnatt fails to instil it with either a sense of wonder or gritty intrigue. Its dated and flimsy special effects do definitely have a role in that regard, but I felt there just wasn’t enough power or charisma to this film’s delivery of its future vision to really entertain me throughout.
Overall, then, I wasn’t overly impressed by Cherry 2000. While it certainly has an interesting and imaginative vision fo the future, and one that’s proved surprisingly influential in the long run, it’s a rather empty and underwhelming film, with a predictable and generic core story that’s worsened by uncharismatic directing and poor emotional drama, and that’s why I’m giving it a 6.3.