Cherry 2000 (1987)

Cherry 2000 (1987), written by Lloyd Fonvielle, Michael Almereyda, directed by Steve De Jarnatt, starring Melanie Griffith, David Andrews, Pamela Gidley

Here's an interesting one. or a bad one depends really. The premise of the story of Cherry 2000 is thus: Sam Treadwell (Andrews) arrives home to his girlfriend Cherry (Gidley). Just as they are about to get it on, Cherry malfunctions, as she is a robot, a rare model as such and the only way to get her back is to go to the lawless badlands, where the only stock of such models still exists. In order to get the memory chip of his own Cherry to a new model, Sam has to hire a tracker, E. Johnson (Griffith) to help him find his way through the area dwelling with all kinds of criminals. This hunt for a rare sexbot model turns even more dangerous than Sam expects when the local gang leader Lester (Tim Thomerson) starts putting more obstacles in the way. 

That really is the main bulk of the story in a nutshell. Cherry 2000 is a road movie, where two people blow through obstacles to the end. Of course, as it starts with a man's quest for a new sexbot, it might not come as a surprise, that towards the end, he ends up having feelings towards the more human Johnson and has to make a decision about if he is going to be happy with Cherry or will he go back for the tracker, who has put her life on the line for the job. 

Cherry 2000 is the kind of 80s sci-fi cheese you'd imagine from the story premise. It kind of drips that 1980s dystopic sci-fi cheese in a good way: you have the contrast between the rich part of the world and the desert that is in ruins because of some unspecified disaster. There are glimpses of the relationships of the future, where lawyers are present to make contracts even before any relationship starts. And in the less civilized world, no one places any value on any of such things.

The change from the city to the more rural country turns the movie's vibe into a sort of a sci-fi western, at least in some aspects, when Sam nonchalantly starts walking around a hotel with a shotgun in hand. But then that is kind of dropped, when Johnson picks him up with her Ford Mustang and the apparently jet-powered car drives to the desert in pitch black, her telling Sam, that she drives mostly by feeling as she doesn't really see a thing in the dark. 

It all turns even cheesier by the first big action scene, where they need to cross a guarded damn. They hook the car to a magnet crane while the bad guys keep shooting at them with bazookas. Interestingly enough, the bad guy bazookas do only minor damage when they hit the car, but Johnson's own bazooka blows everything to smithereens. This whole segment makes very little sense, from the setup to the finish, where the bad guy crane operator, in his death, seemingly by luck places them where they need to go.

What I'm saying here is, that you really need to turn off your brains for this movie. You don't even have to think it hard for it to not make sense at all. What does help a lot are the many comedic moments in the movie, so the makers of it were at least aware that it wasn't some sort of award-winning material they were making. Especially the supporting cast hams it up constantly, leaving the more serious stuff to the leading couple.

Cherry 2000 is not by any means a great movie, but it is a fun movie. It could have been easy to turn this into a movie, that takes itself too seriously, no matter what the story sounds like. It's basically a fun b-shlock, that aims just to entertain for a moment, no ifs, no buts.

On the last note, the movie does have a soundtrack by Basil Poledouris and while not his most memorable work, in fact, I'm sure he was recycling some of his better-known material here at places, it's still worth mentioning, as it has some pretty decent tunes.