Three teenagers go on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars that quickly spins beyond their control.
Release Year: 2009
Rating: 6.1/10 (2,736 voted)
Lisa Barros D'Sa
Stars: Rupert Grint, Robert Sheehan, James Nesbitt
Cherry Bomb follows teenagers Luke, Malachy, and Michelle as they embark on a wild weekend of drink, drugs, shop-lifting and stealing cars. But what starts out as a game turns deadly serious when the three discover that they can't get off the wild ride they've set in motion.
Kathy Kiera Clarke
Two guys.One girl.Game on.
Release Date: 23 April 2010
Filming Locations: Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, UK
Did You Know?
Rupert Grint reportedly found shooting Malachy's nude sex scene embarrassing – though not as much as watching the scene with his parents on a preview DVD.
I freaking hate you sometimes.
Yeah? Well get in the queue sunshine; I hate me all the time.
Brave film, great performances
Cherrybomb is a stylish, yet realistic portrayal of contemporary
teenagers. The story is pretty simple — two best friends Malachy
(Rupert Grint) and Luke (Robert Sheehan) meet a beautiful girl Michelle
(Kimberley Nixon) who has just moved back to Belfast from London; her
dad is Malachy's boss Dave Crilly (James Nesbitt). She challenges the
boys to compete for her affection by undertaking a series of reckless
stunts, which include fighting, stealing and wrecking cars, demolishing
properties, etc. However there's more to Cherrybomb than this main
premise. All three protagonists are complex characters; the fact that
they are 16-year-olds explains their insecurities, inability to
acknowledge their true feelings, bravado, recklessness, overly
emotional response to things happening around them, and — stupidity.
Michelle's parents are divorced and disinterested in their own
daughter, who they treat like a tennis ball. Michelle's mother sends
her to live with her dad, but he prefers to spend time with his teenage
lover. Crilly's selfishness frustrates his "princess", and in turn she
initiates the ultimate rebellion.
Luke lives with his alcoholic, irresponsible father Smiley and
"businessman" brother Chris, who forces Smiley and Luke to sell drugs.
Among his friends, Luke is perceived as an attractive, flamboyant,
carefree bloke; but behind this facade Luke is ashamed of his father,
frustrated by his brother, and utterly unhappy with his entire family
setting. His best friend Malachy is the only ray of light in his life.
Luke gets the girls easily, but he disposes of them quickly, because
the entire notion of a stable relationship is alien to him.
Malachy has a stable family, and he excels at school. His middle class
parents have high hopes for his future, but they fail to notice that
there's more to their son than just good marks. They disapprove his
friendship with Luke, but Malachy sticks to his pal and copes well with
Luke's nasty behaviour. Malachy is clever and self-confident, but he
doesn't want his friends to see him just as mummy's nerdy little boy;
so he drinks, smokes weed, snorts cocaine, swears. However, it is not
Luke but Michelle who ultimately pushes him over the edge.
Both boys are attracted to Michelle; however, it is Malachy who soon
becomes completely infatuated by her. As the competition gets
increasingly dangerous, both Luke and Michelle are surprised by the
fact that "the good boy" Malachy accepts the challenges and doesn't
give up. Luke can afford to do whatever he wants because he's got
nothing to lose; while Malachy jeopardises his good relationship with
his parents, his job, and his academic future.
Although Michelle seems to have more in common with Luke, she finds
herself attracted to Malachy, disarmed by his sincerity. But, at the
same time, she is afraid to love and let love. Halfway through the film
the dynamics of the trio changes. Luke freaks out at the possibility of
losing his best friend to this girl; and what was Malachy and Luke
competing for Michelle, turns into Michelle and Luke competing for
Malachy. Michelle grows increasingly annoyed by Luke's crazy antics,
while Luke can't understand Malachy's infatuation with this girl and is
ultimately jealous and baffled by the idea that his best friend would
choose Michelle over him.
The entire action in Cherrybomb happens over the span of a weekend,
making the movie very intense and fast-paced; and the ultimate
rebellion results in tragedy which changes the survivors' lives
Acting wise, the greatest expectations were laid on Rupert Grint's
shoulders, because we were all curious to see whether he could make us
forget about Ron Weasley; whether he can suppress his natural comedic
instincts and be a successful drama lead; whether he can pull off a
thick Norn Iron accent; and whether he has an acting future after Harry
Potter. And the answer to all these questions is YES! There was no
trace of Ron Weasley (or Grint's other movie characters) there: he gave
a very subtle and realistic performance. It is hard to believe that
this is the same actor who always gets the funny lines and handles a
majority of slapstick in Harry Potter. Grint brings a touching
sincerity and warmth to the role of Malachy, a boy who falls in love
with a girl for the first time, and is willing to risk everything just
to be with her.
Robert Sheehan, on the other hand, gives a completely different
performance. Luke is flamboyant and extreme, and Sheehan's performance
is suitably over-the-top in the most positive way: he portrays this
tense, edgy, emotionally broken teenager heartbreakingly and
persuasively. Sheehan is definitely a force to reckon with, and he and
Grint play each other off superbly.
Kimberley Nixon gives a convincing portrayal of a neglected, insecure
girl. She and Rupert Grint have a wonderful on-screen chemistry. James
Nesbitt is fantastic as Michelle's father: he generated a lot of
laughter, and initially appeared as a selfish but relatively benign man
who suffers from midlife crisis. However, as the movie progresses, he
is exposed as an aggressive, violent man.
The directors' style is very creative and efficient. Instead of flashy
special effects, they opt for an imaginative use of real-life sets,
unusual camera angles, lots of close-up shots, expressive colours and
clever editing. The film does contain some violent and drug related
scenes, nudity and foul language — however even the rawest of scenes
are done very stylishly.
Cherrybomb deals with the challenges of growing up, accepting
responsibilities and falling in love for the first time. This dark,
artsy movie is definitely not kiddie-friendly; but, the combination of
great performances, beautiful visuals, and uncompromising realism makes
it highly recommendable. Anyone interested in an engaging, thrilling
and gripping emotional roller-coaster should enjoy Cherrybomb.