Monday, November 17, 2014

Cherry 2000 (1987)

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

Warning:  I’m going to give out major details about this movie, including the ending.  If you don’t like spoilers, this isn’t a good review to read before seeing the movie.

In my review of Dune, I started by saying that there were three kinds of movies.  You have movies that are easy to understand, movies that require some explanation, and those where no amount of explanation will help.  This is the third kind of movie.

The movie starts off with a man and what appears to be a woman.   They’re having dinner, although she’s not eating.  After dinner, it turns into a Viagra commercial with the two of them getting busy on the kitchen floor.  I don’t know if it’s carelessness or if the dishwasher is jealous, but the dishwasher overflows and shorts out the woman.  Yes, she’s a sexbot known as the Cherry 2000.

The man’s name is Sam Treadwell.  He takes the Cherry 2000 in to be repaired, but that’s an impossibility.  They haven’t made that model in quite a while, so getting parts is out of the question.  Even replacing her outright is going to be difficult.  On the mechanic’s advice, Sam takes her memory chip and sets off to find a tracker.  The tracker should be able to take him in to The Zone to find an abandoned sexbot factory.

Sam finds and hires Edith Johnson, played by Melanie Griffith.  They have to travel a great distance into The Zone, which is inhabited by lawless hooligans that will shoot at you if you come into their territory.  (No one ever said that getting to or inside the warehouse was going to be easy.)   Edith hooks up with Six-Fingered Jake, who happens to be Edith’s uncle or father or something.  He was said to be dead, but he really just wanted out of the business.  He’s now in to selling toasters.

When they set off to find the factory, they’re attacked.  Sam is taken by the group of local crazies led by Lester.  Sam is told that Edith and Jake are dead, but they were able to tow Edith’s car in.  Sam’s ex, Ginger, is there.  (You don’t understand… She changed her name.  Don’t worry; I don’t understand, either.)  The locals live in what appears to be an abandoned motel or something.  Another thing:  Lester apparently really hates trackers.  He hates them so much that when he discovers that they have one among them, he puts the tracker up against a wall and shoots him with an arrow.

The big form of entertainment with them is the Hokey Pokey.  I have no idea why they do this.  Maybe this was the Most Annoying Song in the World before the Macarena became popular.  I guess that really is what it’s all about.  The group allows Sam to stay, but Sam doesn’t want to stay.  He wants his beloved Cherry back.  Lester mentions having several units, but lacks the chip to make them work.  I don’t know if he’s serious or if he’s just testing Sam.  Either way, Sam decides to torch the place and run when he discovers that Edith and Jake aren’t really dead.

Before they can get to the factory, they meet up with some old friends of Jake and Edith.  Like many old friends in a dystopian future, one of them sells the trio out to Lester, who’s now really out for blood.  Sam and Edith are able to escape by plane, but poor Jake is shot in the back.

Sam and Edith finally find the factory.  Somehow, Edith knows exactly where the factory is, how to get into the factory and where in the factory the sexbots are kept.  It takes a few minutes for Sam to find the exact model he needs.  This is just enough time for Lester and his cronies to show up.  Oh, and Ginger is there, too.  She brought sandwiches.

Sam finds the correct model, inserts the memory chip and is happy to see his Cherry returned to him as if nothing happened.  As they escape, Sam begins to realize what a ditz the Cherry 2000 is.  He thought he knew what love was, but would rather have Edith.  Sam starts to leave with Cherry, but comes back for Edith so that they can ride off into the sunset together.

This is one of those movies that you’ll be left wondering what the f__k just happened, even if you’re paying attention.  I’m really wondering if the writers were using LSD.  The Hokey Pokey scene is just so strange that they had to be on something.

Also, sex is apparently heavily litigated.  When you go into a bar for casual sex, you apparently need a contract and a lawyer to look it over.  (Look out for Laurence Fishburne in this scene.  If you blink, you’ll miss him.)  I’ve heard of being screwed over by lawyers, but this is a bit extreme. The fact that you’d need an oral clause should tell you something.  Between this and Ginger, I can see why Sam is dead set on finding a new Cherry 2000.

It always bothers me when a piece of well-crafted machinery breaks down so easily.  You have a female-looking robot who I’m assuming was made to resemble a woman in every detail.  The Cherry 2000 was supposed to be very good -- they just don’t make them like that any more.  So, why is it that she was done in by soapy water?  Even if this were a possibility, why would someone who loves said robot be so careless as to ignore the dishwasher?  You’d think that Sam would realize that Cherry’s about to bite the dust and do something to save her.  I know that this is why we have a movie in the first place, but he could have made an effort.

Speaking of reasons why we have a movie, why is it that the item in question is always so hard to get?  Either it’s in a remote part of the country that has roving bands of rabid idiots or it’s heavily guarded in Fort Knox.  If it seems easy, that’s because the target item isn’t really there.  It was moved someplace or destroyed.  It’s never that easy.

This is a hard movie to recommend.  It’s not at all good.  It looked to me like the producers had to remove entire scenes to make the movie come in under time and/or budget, giving it a rushed and disjointed feeling.  However, it’s not so bad that I’d recommend watching it to see how bad it is.  Yes, it’s listed on  Yes, it deserves to be listed there.  I’m just not sure I can recommend wasting your time on it.  This truly is a movie that will leave you wondering why.

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