Ilya Naishuller / Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennet, Tim Roth / Action / 2016 / 18 / 96mins
Do you like gore? And I mean gore in the truest sense of the genre – sliced limbs / blood / exploding heads / blood… that’s what Hardcore Henry brings to the R-rated table.
This GoPro actioner revisits an oft tried but as yet unaccomplished form – the 1st person film. It’s easier said than done. You need a cameraman who’s as good an actor (HH uses 3), intricate choreography, etc. Hardcore Henry seems to have got that half done.
Shooting a film of this complexity was bound to fail. To manipulate a camera to achieve biological realism is nigh impossible. Early on there’s failure: the camera evokes a nod and a shake but loses focus of the JLaw-clone (Haley Bennett – seriously, look at her). Budget constraints? Possibly – makes for a crappy film unfortunately.
Technicalities aside, the choreography was second to none. I loved it. Pure adrenaline fuelled fist-fighting with ‘how the fuck did he do that?’ action that quickly escalates to ‘HOW THE FUCK DID HE NOT DIE??’ action. The best brilliantly exaggerated fun since The Raid.
But there’s one last nail for the coffin – the plot. It’s a ragtag of disappointments. They put some effort into the characters, Sharlto Copley’s Jimmy et al. being an example (who is effortlessly quotable), but villain Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) has no explanation for his telekinesis whatsoever… because telekinesis is normal in Russia?? So many questions left unanswered. I went to uni to answer questions, not the cinema. Tie it up.
Niche film that thinks it’s clever but isn’t… but at least there’s laughs. Gamer or student? CONGRATULATIONS: you’re gonna enjoy the shit out of this movie! An FPS film, action fans: hallelujah.
Film as a Film – 2 / Target Audience – 3 / General Audience – 1
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By Source (WP:NFCC#4), Fair use via Wikipedia.