Review: Hardcore Henry – The Year’s Craziest Action Flick

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With the mantra that “nobody must die on the film,” Hardcore Henry gives an inventive point of view of an old concept with new tricks.

Hardcore Henry bills itself as the first point-of-view action film, and its astounding camera-work will ensure disbelief on this roller-coaster ride. But hold on to your barf bags while I explain that Hardcore Henry is exactly what it states…hardcore. If you get motion sickness easily, this flick is not for you!

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The Henry of Hardcore Henry is a petri dish fusion of half-man, half-robot with no memory who must save his wife from a telekinetic grunge-inspired psychopath and his minions of superhuman cyber-bots. The perspective of the film is entirely from Henry’s perspective; you experience everything Henry experiences, and it’s a sucker-punch of a ride through Henry’s eyes. He’s a natural-made killer; all the slicing and dicing and blood and guts are very up close and impersonal.

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“I wanted the audience to be completely immersed in the film, to feel like Henry from start to finish. In terms of unnecessary exposition, it is unnecessary for a reason. I didn’t want to explain where Akan [the film’s antagonist] got his powers because I am tired of Hollywood telling me the same origin story. It was a careful balance of keeping the people interested but not overexplaining it. This is not a film about the story, but how it goes about telling that story.” I think it is a negative but it is a necessary evil. When you are dealing with movies made in the studio system where the stakes are high, like $150 million or whatever the budgets are, they need some form of committee. It has to happen. Sometimes we get beautiful films made that way — not often, but it does happen.” Director Ilya Naishuller via Hollywood Reporter 

1035x690-hardcore-henry-_MG_0164_rgb32-year-old Russian writer/director Ilya Naishuller utilized countless GoPros attached to a stabilization system to “Henry’s” head, played by nearly a dozen stuntmen and even Naishuller himself.  As Rolling Stone describes “it blurs the line between film and first-person shooter—think Doom meets Ichi the Killer meets Kingda Ka.” Don’t like video games? Neither do I, but the intensity and surrealism on screen kept me hooked from start to finish.

If you go into the perspective of what this film is, and not what you think it should be, then you’ll have one hell of a time. Sharlto Copley, who plays 11 half-cyborg versions of his character Jimmy, admit, “It’s not like we’re trying to make an Oscar-winning movie here.”

Copley imagines the technology extending past action and fundamentally changing the way a filmgoer experiences movies.

“If you were Leo or Kate at the end of Titanic and your partner’s slipping away to death, would that be even more engaging if the actor was looking you in the eye?” he asks. “I don’t know the answer, but I think it’s a fascinating question.”

What did you think of Hardcore Henry?? Let me know! 

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15 Comments

  1. I haven’t seen this yet but the trailer looks positively bonkers!! It looks extremely violent though, so I’m not sure if it’s for me but I’m intrigued. Btw the girl in the fourth photo from the top looks so much like Jennifer Lawrence!

      1. Hmmm, exceptionally violent but is it gory though? If it’s more like John Wick then I can handle it, I just don’t like gory/bloody stuff. Also, the hand-held stuff might make me nauseous also. We’ll see though, if it’s on Netflix I’ll watch it.

      2. I haven’t seen John Wick, but it’s not like Tarantino violence or anything. Everything happens so rapidly that it’s hard to fixate on a particularly bloody scene.

  2. My husband went to see this and had a good time with it. It reminds me a bit of Crank adrenaline wise. It seems fun.

  3. I enjoyed this one in theaters and if I do watch it again I hope i can on an Oculous RIft system. I like your quote of how it’s Doom meets Ichi The Killer meets Kingda Ka

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