Hardcore Henry (2016)
Director & Screenwriter – Ilya Naishuller
I will have to edit this post once I get on a computer but I didn’t want to wait to review it. Hardcore Henry is a sensory overload and I prewarn you now to prepare for a slight headache and motion sickness but it will be worth it, just grin a bear it and enjoy the ride. It’s almost reminiscent of grindhouse cinema but the action distracts you from that. Your main character, Henry, is a mute cyborg whom has no recollection of who he was before the moment he wakes up and he isn’t quite finished. In a nutshell, this film is brutally violent, explosive, sexy and drug fuelled. I haven’t quite witnessed anything like it. The story is lacking terribly which normally I’d complain about but Hardcore Henry is very aware of its own identity, it set out to be non-stop bloodcurdling action and that’s exactly what it is.
The ultimate hero in this film is Sharlto Copley, playing an impressive and varied array characters (characters that are ultimately all the same character but you will work it out when you see the film). His performance for every single role he played is not only hilarious but thorough. He adopts every trait of every being he portrays to the mark. I challenge anyone to see this film and not be impressed by him. Alongside Sharlto is Danila Kozlovsky playing Akan who yet again, nails his performance. Kozlovsky was channeling everything I wanted Lex Luthor to be in Batman vs Superman, he was the right amount of insane, genius and ruthless. I hadn’t seen Danila in a film up until now but he’s a name I will certainly keep an eye on in the future, I’d be curious to see what else he can do. Not to mention in this film, he looks like an anime villain based on Crispin Glover! What’s not to love?!
Alongside the frenzied pace is a soundtrack so befitting, I was so excited to hear Queen yet again inappropriately placed in an absolute madhouse of a movie. Obviously with all the pros, there has to be a con or two. Surprisingly, Hardcore Henry manages to hold its own and still look absolutely stunning, a lot of well thought out shots, locations, lighting etc but it is cut up like botched carrots with Sunday dinner. You can feel a slight jump in time during action sequences, it may only be a second or two but if you know to look for these things, it can get a little frustrating. I also noticed that the picture had quite clearly been dubbed over for most (if not all) vocal work. This isn’t necessarily a problem given the nature of the film and the fact that it was shot on a go-pro. My boyfriend didn’t notice it at all but again, if you’re looking for the flaws, you will surely find them. Ultimately, this is a film that you should take yourself to see if you love loads and loads of violence and fun. I cannot recommend it enough. A truly wild ride and the first of its first person genre to really hit the nail on the head. It’s for gamers, action lovers, superhero fans, comic book readers, thrill seekers and gore appreciators.