Blu-Ray Review: Cherry 2000 (Kino Lorber Studio Classics) | Under the Radar - Music Magazine
Friday, March 5th, 2021  

Cherry 2000

Studio: Kino Lorber Studio Classics

Jul 28, 2015 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share

Businessman Sam Treadwell is grieving the loss of his wife. The knockout blonde did not so much "die" as short circuit—the woman was a Cherry model 2000: an expensive and no-longer-manufactured android. With her personality and memories extracted onto a chip, Sam hires bounty hunter E. Johnson (Melanie Griffith, hair dyed a bright red) to venture into The Zone to find a duplicate robot shell of the late ladybot. But, E. Johnson won’t venture into the lawless, apocalyptic wasteland alone; thus, Sam climbs into her red Ford Mustang and they embark on the dangerous journey together.

With a creative screenplay by cult writer Michael Almereyda and a supporting cast that includes Tim Thomserson, a young Laurence Fishburne, an old Ben Johnson, and Harry Carey Jr., 1987’s Cherry 2000 was at least guaranteed to be a fun movie. For the first act, director Steve de Jarnatt does an incredible job building a weird, futuristic world—set, of course, in the far-off year of 2017—where sex robots are an everyday sight, working toaster ovens are of immense value, and the parameters of a romantic enoucnter between two humans are pre-determined in detailed legal contract. The colorful world of urban Anaheim—a dystopian metropolis—and the Wild West-like saloon where Sam goes to hire a bounty hunter are wonderfully realized from the sets to the bizarre costume designs, and look really strong in Kino Lorbers’ new Blu-ray.

The creative visuals understandably dial back a few notches once the action shifts to The Zone. This desert area looks more like the expected post-apocalyptic wasteland of post-Mad Max cinema; only the Sky Ranch—home base for the Zone’s mad overlord, Lester, and his equally nutty followers—shows the same level of flair in production design as the film’s first act. (To be fair, a post-apocalyptic desert would be the wrong place for flamboyant futurism; still, it made us wish for an entire film set in Cherry 2000's more unique urban environments—de Jarnatt would later go on to make perhaps the best urban apocalypse film with his 1989 cult masterpiece, Miracle Mile.) Fortunately, practical effect and stunt work ensure that the action set pieces are all quite good, even if we wish it was better explained why the buttoned-up Sam is such a natural crack shot when it comes to tossing grenades and firing automatic weapons.  Cherry 2000 is a fun and original sci-fi feature from a decade that produced many of them. This new Blu-ray edition from Kino Lorber Studio Classics also includes an audio commentary by the director, an interview with Thomerson, and a vintage behind-the-scenes promo reel.

Author rating: 6/10

Rate this DVD
Average reader rating: 8/10


Submit your comment

Name Required

Email Required, will not be published


Remember my personal information
Notify me of follow-up comments?

Please enter the word you see in the image below:

There are no comments for this entry yet.