Cherry 2000 (1986)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/1/16
Music: Basil Poledouris
Cast: David Andrews, Melanie Griffith, Ben Johnson, Tim Thomerson, Pamela Gidley, cameos by Jennifer Mayo, Lawrence Fishburne, Brion James

I never bothered seeing this when it originally came out because the title is so off-putting. It totally sounds like it would be a low budget sci-fi sex romp, but it's not. In the future (2017, to be exact), romance is dead. Sex is bought and sold like used cars, while others prefer robotic companionship. For Sam Treadwell (David Andrews), the super rare Cherry 2000 (Pamela Gidley) is the ultimate companion, and when she malfunctions and breaks down, Sam dedicates himself to finding a replacement chassis for her salvaged memory chip. Unfortunately, Cherry 2000s are extremely difficult to come by and are rumored to only exist in a robot graveyard located in a lawless wasteland. Sam hires a tracker named E. Johnson (Melanie Griffith) to help him find a new robot lover, and an innocent and slightly contentious romance begins to form between them. Not surprisingly, Sam has a difficult moral choice to make at the end of the film.

The film certainly has potential, but it's squandered on goofy characters and weak writing. Curiously, more than half of the footage that's in the trailer isn't in the film, and it fills in some of the narrative gaps. Why it was cut out is beyond me. David Andrews does an adequate job as a lovesick and heartbroken man who's at the end of his rope, but he's generally unlikable. Melanie Griffith is delightful as a bad-ass, gun-toting mercenary, if you can put up with her voice and her vapid delivery. Tim Thomerson plays a crazed psychotic killer, which is nothing new for him, and a beautiful Jennifer Mayo really caught my attention. The real star of the show turns out to be Johnson's jacked up '66 (or '67?) Mustang. Much like the Cherry 2000, it's a gorgeous piece of vintage hardware from a bygone era, and watching it speed through the desert is pure joy. The action scenes are fairly entertaining and there are some excellent stunts filmed at Hoover Dam. It's definitely a product of the 80's and suffers from being overly campy. However, it's completely innocuous and easy to watch.