Wednesday, August 06, 2014

Cherry Bomb (2011)

Note:  This review was originally posted to my Epinions account.

WARNING:  I’m going to give away major details about the movie.  This may or may not ruin the movie for you depending on how much you like to know coming in to a movie.  You’ve been warned.

Usually, budget is a good indicator of how good a movie will be.  There are exceptions, though.  IMDb lists the estimated budget for Cherry Bomb at $100,000.  Having watched it on Netflix, it wasn’t that bad.  This isn‘t to say I don‘t have issues with the movie, but I’ve seen much worse.

The story is about a stripper that goes by the stage name Cherry Bomb.  She’s attractive and the guys seem to like her.  One day, she fills in for fellow stripper Sapphire in the champagne room.  The five guys in the room asked for Sapphire by name, but seem to be happy with Cherry.  Four of the men rape Cherry and leave her lying there.  She’s taken to the hospital and recovers, but the five men get their stories straight.  This means that the detectives assigned to the case don’t think that there’s really a case.

Cherry’s estranged brother, Brandon, shows up and confronts one of the attackers, demanding that he pay Cherry’s hospital bills.  Push comes to shove and Brandon kills the attacker.  When the detectives hear about this, the nurse tells them that Cherry was in her room all day, but Cherry overhears and gets the idea to kill the remaining attackers.  Brother and sister meet up and end up going after the remaining four men.

Things go well for them at first.  With the money Brandon took from his victim, they’re able to buy way more guns and ammo than they could possibly need.  Before they can carry out all of the executions, a hit man named Bull is hired to kill them.  They barely manage to escape him, but Bull never accepts a hit that he can’t finish.  It‘s only then that Cherry has any real sense of consequence, but she’s determined to finish what she started.

Yes, it’s a revenge movie.  No, Cherry doesn’t seem to like using the same gun twice.  As you might expect with this kind of attitude and so many weapons, it’s not a movie for children.  Also, not many of the main characters make it all the way to the end.  Because the movie starts with Cherry driving a car and immediately flashes back two weeks, there’s only one person that you have any indication will make it.  (I’ve always hated flashbacks.  The use of it here doesn‘t do much to affect my opinion.)

This is one of those movies I found on Netflix.  I have to say that it was better than I expected.  There is an amateurish look to the movie, which isn’t surprising considering the budget.  (Judging by the frequent fades to black, I was wondering if this was a made-for-TV movie.)

Most of the acting was good.  Cherry was a little annoying at times, but she was cute.  She wasn’t annoying enough that I minded seeing her do her job.  Her boss, Ian Benedict, is another story.  Benedict is played by Nick Manning, who was way over the top.  Imagine Jean-Claude Van Damme on massive amounts of caffeine.  Again, not so annoying that I wanted to turn off the movie, but he could get over the top.  Fortunately, this was only the case later in the movie.  He’s just you’re average male pig who runs a strip club.

There were also a few continuity issues that I noticed.  First, Brandon picked up as many bills as he could from the floor when he killed his first victim.  It didn’t look like he grabbed that much, but he managed to get $12,000.  This is 120 $100 bills, which mysteriously managed to get two of those little paper wrappers that banks put on money.  Where did he even get one of these?  Why would he put them on the money?  How did he get so much in such a short time?

Also, he hits Bull with his car in their first encounter.  His windshield is damaged, but looks fine shortly thereafter.  It eventually goes back to being cracked later in the movie.

This is one of those movies that you can’t take too seriously.  It’s not so bad that you have to see it, but it’s not so good that I feel compelled to tell everyone.  It’s a good example of what you can do with a modest budget.  Judging by the Netflix reviews, there were a lot of people that hated it and a lot of people that seemed to not mind having seen it.  I think I enjoyed it mostly because I didn’t think about it too hard.  This is probably where most of the movie’s fans will come in.

Since it only ran for 1:22, I figured it wouldn’t be a total waste of time.  It’s definitely worth a watch if you have streaming.  (Even though the movie has been released on DVD, streaming was the only option Netflix had when I watched it.)  For those worried about how graphic it is, we don’t get to see much nudity.  The dancers don‘t get naked, which is our loss.  Also, the rape isn’t actually shown on screen.  We do, however, get to see lots of gore and gun-related violence.  I don’t know that I’d recommend buying it.  If you have Netflix, I’d recommend streaming it, though.

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