Hardcore Henry – ★ ★ ★ DVD Review
Filmed entirely from a first person point of view Hardcore Henry was really just an extended experiment to see if it could be done. Basically, could they turn the action scenes from a video game into an hour and a half long movie? Well, they did; whether they should have or not is another question. With an intro clip starring Tim Roth, and the story carried by Sharlto Copley filling the role of a “non player character” in a video game cut scene, we watch Henry fight through wave after wave of bad guys.
Henry (played by presumably a series of faceless stuntmen) is a genetically altered, technologically augmented, formerly dead soldier with no memory who has to save his wife (Haley Bennett) from a telekinetic warlord (Danila Kozlovsky) who has plans to bio-engineer super soldiers. The whole movie played out like a video game, and was incredibly violent, often brutal, but not really gory or disturbing. Lots of shooting, lots of swearing, lots of fighting, lots of car chases and car crashes, and quite a bit of humour and fun too. It really was just an experiment though. Can a film “work” without ever showing the face of the main character? Keep in mind also that the main character never speaks in the entire movie either, so can you develop a character that is never really seen, and you never hear? Can the technology of filmmaking keep up with the action? I think it succeeded, even if I didn’t love the film. The plot was paper thin (and again the “twist” at the end was fairly predictable), but the stunts and achievement effectively made up for that. Still, this won’t be for everybody, but action and adrenaline junkies will likely love every minute of it. Fun, but I don’t know if this sort of film-making will (or should) take off.
Bottom Line: I can’t play first person shooter video games, they give me a headache. Watching Hardcore Henry I started getting a headache too even though the film was fairly stable, there was just too much first person action for me. So I watched a bit of the film in fast forward since there really wasn’t much dialogue or character development to miss out on…