Hardcore Henry

2016-06-03 12:17

What it's about:

Hardcore Henry is an action film told from a first person perspective: You remember nothing. Mainly because you've just been brought back from the dead by your wife (Haley Bennett). She tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go get her back. Who's got her? His name's Akan; he's a powerful warlord with an army of mercenaries, and a plan for world domination. You're also in an unfamiliar city of Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. Everyone except for a mysterious British fellow called Jimmy. He may be on your side, but you aren't sure. If you can survive the insanity, and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity. Good luck, Henry.

What we thought:

Hardcore Henry is exactly what the title entails, it’s about Henry and it is extremely hardcore!

Going into the film, the only thing I knew about it was my husband’s warning; ‘you might get motion sickness because of the way it’s been shot’. So having a very vague idea of what the film is about, here’s the low-down of my experience:

First of all, you should know that the film is shot entirely from a first person POV. For those who aren’t big gamers, like me, and don’t know what POV stands for, it means Point Of View. So, having said that, and to my surprise, I didn’t get motion sickness at all.

Director Ilya Naishuller mounted GoPro’s on specially-made masks on a bunch of stuntmen and shot the entire film with it. The result? It feels like a very long game of Counter Strike. (This is the only game I have ever really played, so the only one I can reference. No judgies please!) 

The film really is hardcore. From the get-go it feels like you are in the driving seat, you’re experiencing everything as if you would be doing it yourself, which at times make you want to vomit, and this is not due to the camera angles but rather all the bloodshed. Falling, jumping, climbing, stumbling, flying, driving, punching, shooting, punching, shooting, punching, shooting… I can continue, but you get it, right?

The star of the film is definitely our very own Sharlto Copley. And this is not because he is the only real character in the film, but because he brings some comedic relief in between all the action and bloodshed. He plays Jimmy. Jimmy appears every time when you least expect it – and the different versions of him include a normal mysterious man, an alcoholic, an odorous bum, a cocaine addicted ladies man, a shy, awkward geek and even a WW2 officer. He knows everything there is to know about Henry, who is half man, half machine, and he saves him every time. There is even a musical scene featuring Jimmy that will have you in stitches.

The film will make you feel on edge and agitated for the full 96 minutes. If you know this going in it will probably be more enjoyable. This is not a relaxing movie, so don’t go watch it you want to chill. You will not chill.

Overall the film was interesting and as it is a first in the way it’s been shot, I’d say it’s one that gamers will definitely enjoy more than non-gamers. Don’t expect a very intriguing storyline, plot or any character development. Do expect a movie that feels like a game as Henry progresses to different stages wielding new weapons as he levels up. 

Read more on:    sharlto copley  |  movies

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