Cherry 2000

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” In the future, we’ll have sex robots and 3-wheel cars. But toaster ovens will be in short supply.”

Though I hope 80’s hair never makes the comeback shown here, this SF actioner has some nice ideas about the future, amid jabs at human relationships. Sam (Andrews) has opted for synthetic love, in the form of the titular android, largely because dating has become more like a business merger, complete with contracts – a pre-Matrix Larry Fishburne plays a lawyer specialising in sex. When his Cherry breaks down, the only replacement is out in the post-apocalyptic wastes, and he hires the feisty Johnson (Griffith) to keep his ass out of trouble and get him there. On the way, they meet the delightfully evil Lester (Thomerson) and his posse, and there’s an impressive, if illogical, sequence involving a crane, Really Big Explosions, and Really Dumb Villains.

I really wanted to love this: three years later, De Jarnatt directed Miracle Mile, an all-time favourite, and probably the best obscure film ever. Of course, we all know that Sam is eventually going to discover that flesh and blood beats circuitry any day, and the makers know that we know, so don’t make much effort at building the relationship. Brion James turns up briefly, though they missed the chance to have the former replicant (Blade Runner) turn android hunter. I think it’s all probably tongue in cheek, and as such is largely criticism-proof, but a lot of it comes over as bland (Thomerson and his crew of barbecuing yuppies excepted) and it’s hard to relate to a hero basically after a hi-tech puncture repair kit for his rubber doll. More sex, violence and general bad ‘tude could have made it a classic.

Dir: Steve De Jarnatt
Star: David Andrews, Melanie Griffith, Tim Thomerson, Ben Johnson

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