Hardcore Henry online movie review - Hardcore Henry is somewhat entertaining, but it's also hard to watch, at times. I got a headache, because of it.
Hardcore Henry is an action film told from a 1st person perspective in which, the viewer see the events around through the protagonist's Henry eyes.
Just to note: there's no single actor who played the main character, Henry. His role was performed by more than 10 different cameramen and stuntmen, including director Ilya Naishuller. IIya Naishuller is probably best known for being a frontman of the Russian indie rock band, Biting Elbows whom music videos for the songs 'The Stampede' and 'Bad Motherf**ker', went viral because of their great use of first person perspective, special effects, and violence. Because of this, Naishuller was able to get producers, to fund his first full-length first-person action/sci-fi/adventure film, which also written by himself. Hardcore Henry tells the story of Henry, a man half cyborg soldier with no memory, whom just been brought back alive from the dead by his wife, Estelle (Haley Bennett); only to soon find out, that a warlord named Akan (Danila Kozlovsky)) is out to get him. With some help from his wife, Estelle and mysterious stranger named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), Henry must stop this madman from capturing him, and creating a large army of mercenaries with his technology parts; while also search the truth about your identity. Without spoiling the movie, too much, I see the style in which, this first-person action film was going for. Konami's 'Metal Gear Solid' video game franchise mixed with Activision's 'Call of Duty' series seem to be, it's game. However, the video game style wasn't that well-delivered here. Movies like this, fails because they will never have the freedom that Video Games provide for its audiences. Video Games works, because you are not just passively watching a character, you are the character. You make the choices. You're the one who interacts with the environment on screen. While, the recent product, of a GoPro, a lightweight, wearable camera makes films like this, easily to make. There is still a psychological disconnect between, the viewer and a character, and that barrier is free-will. Films don't give you that. You just have to follow whatever, the artist feeds you. It's a control-environment. Because of that, Hardcore Henry feels more like voyeurism than open gameplay. It's not that ground-breaking since horror found footage films been doing this for years. It would seem filmmakers today are so ingrained with the unique use of game-like POV for our collective cultural psyche that they forget that. It's reason why like that, people love playing video games, rather than watching them. It's one of the reason, why video games movies, normally don't works. Meanwhile, while, the set pieces are brilliantly designed to look like video game stages. I had the deep feeling in me, wanting to play it, rather than watching some unknown avatar named Henry quickly do it. I wanted to take my time with it. Just because the movie has good non-stop action scenes doesn't make it, a well-made movie. Good films works, because they allow, some screen time, for the audience members to rest and take in, what they just saw. It also allow the plot to develop, through a well-timed story structure. This film doesn't have that, due to the extreme frenetic paced. It's a series of action set pieces, barely connected with each other, by a small thread. Because of that, this movie's plot carry, little emotional weight or depth. I wish I can forgive this film, for a lot of the flaws with the film's plot, but, there are a couple of dangling plot-holes that I'm can't ignored. A good example is why does Akan has psychic powers? Another is why are his super soldiers are not avatar clones like Jimmy? Even the twist toward the end, doesn't make sense if you think, deep about it. While, I didn't have a problem with the over the top gory violence & outlandish humor. I do see it, being somewhat of a problem. There is nothing sophistical with the story. It felt like mindless violence for violence sakes. Still, I did somewhat enjoy the variety of ways, Henry murder people. Some people felt this is the closest we'll get to a third Crank film. With that, it's also an endurance test for the stomach and the brain. All of the shaking cam mixed with frenetic style of video editing makes this movie, nauseating to watch. It can make you, vomit, if you're not ready for it. It felt like a roller-coaster that went too long. It was too fast-paced, to understand what is all, happening in the screen. Some of the scenes were really jarring, due to the amount of grainy blurs of the film's exposure. A good example of this, was any of the parkour, or car chase stunts. I still don't know, how Henry honestly escape out of some of the places like the brothel. The shutter speed combined with panning the camera really makes it, hard to see. Then, there was the awkward, non-hidden cuts that somewhat ruins the idea of first-person perspective. It was weird to see, Henry jump from place to place, having little to no clue, how he got there. Despite that, the acting in this movie was meh. Henry is somewhat bland, since, he barely a character. The love-interest is somewhat wasted and the villain was a bit over the top and hammy. In the end, Copley, by far is the best. He kinda shine, playing several characters with different personas and accents. The others, were nothing too special. Overall: This film has generally evoked mixed feelings from me. It's not the worst video game style movie, I seem, however, it's not the best. Honestly, if you like first person shooters games or watching them, then you'll probably love this movie, but if you want to play them with strong story depth, character development, and great dialogue, then stay away from films like this. You will not have much fun.