Score: 2 out of 5
This is film review 11
A first-person shooter as a movie has potential to make you feel like a man; I was expecting a bunch of awesomeness when I walked in to see ‘Hardcore Henry.’ The first trailer I happened to see was an advertisement on a Youtube video I was watching. It gave me that feeling of excitement. I wanted to transport myself into the world of Henry, a man brought back to life by his wife (Hayley Bennett) who becomes a total ass-kicking machine using an array of guns, grenades, and many other weapons he can find to shed some blood. Sadly, I was filled with disappointment.
Its opening credits, which show slow-motion shots of Henry’s victims getting bashed, sliced, stabbed, shot, etc to the song “Let Me Down Easy” by The Stranglers, are enjoyable. The film is also filled with humorous bits, mostly involving Sharlto Copley as Jimmy, a man of many disguises (which end up confusing at first, but gets explained in a mediocre musical number). Sadly, the one thing that disappointed me about ‘Hardcore Henry’ was almost every scene that was filmed. Most of the scenes in this movie show Henry kicking ass in a manner that makes the camera as shaky as ever; also most of it makes little sense, as there are plenty of scenes where Henry is walking down the street presumably bruised and bloodied, but almost no extra bats an eye.
Action movies are common that way, but there are still some reactions from citizens to add a sense of realism. I get that this is a science-fiction shooter in the first-person perspective about a man who comes back as a cyborg (‘Robocop’, anyone?) and also for some reason includes a telepathic villain (Danila Kozlovsky) hellbent on making a bunch of cyborgs like Henry to do his bidding. However, ‘Hardcore Henry’ was mainly advertised as an action-film. Also, the action isn’t even enjoyable with so much camera movement going on. I figure with a crew member wearing an extended camera over his head to get the POV, it’s probably a huge factor and nothing to complain about. Despite this, when you can’t enjoy the action because of how much the camera shakes, then you can’t really have fun.
As an audience, we want to see people getting their asses kicked and feel adrenaline pumping through our veins, making us want to see it again. I don’t think ‘Hardcore Henry’ is a terrible movie or the worst of the year (‘The Boy’ still takes that award by far), I just didn’t get enough satisfaction from its premise. ‘Hardcore Henry’ may work better as a video game or as one long continuous shot.