Hardcore Henry

Starring: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett
Directed By: Ilya Naishuller

OK. So. We need to talk. I’ve read comments online about Hardcore Henry, and the people who LOVE Hardcore Henry can’t understand why people can’t appreciate Hardcore Henry. I do “appreciate” what Hardcore Henry tried to do. I think it is absolutely original and unique, and it does get points for that. It’s a daring piece of cinema on many levels. But on a “did I enjoy it” level, it fails. In fact, I absolutely fucking hated this film.

Hardcore Henry is shot entirely first person, which makes it feel like a really long videogame cut scene. Henry is your point of view, and he’s some kind of cyborg, and his girlfriend has been kidnapped. He has to rescue her, but he also needs to power up, and he has a strange man (Copley) showing up randomly helping him. I’m not sure how the film ends, because I honestly couldn’t finish it.

It’s been a while since I’ve walked away from a film. I think the last film was The Lady In The Van, but that was because I was with my Mom and she wanted to walk away. It wasn’t my choice. I wouldn’t have left. The last film that I didn’t finish I believe was the awful 300 sequel, where I fell asleep before the end. It was that awful. Luckily, Henry is so loud and obnoxious, it would be impossible to fall asleep. I just fucking gave up. I stopped watching about halfway through.

I couldn’t take it anymore. I couldn’t take a film that seems to not have a clearly thought out plot, and seems to make things up as we go along. I couldn’t take Sharlto Copley. I couldn’t take the shaky cam, or the relentless violence. This is the most violent film I’ve seen in a long time, and it doesn’t even have a good story, or acting to back it up. It’s like watching a real life Call Of Duty multiplayer match, but with more exploding heads. And for what its worth, the film does break the “continuous shot” a few times. I’m not sure if that’s just shitty direction or what, but it’s a little distracting when you’re watching a film that’s supposed to be happening in real time, yet there are unnecessary cuts in time.

Normally, when I walk away from a film, it automatically gets an F. However, I do appreciate what they tried to do, and I also think the stuntwork in this film is amazing. So, it does have a few positive marks. But, I can’t in good conscience recommend someone watch this unless they’re just extremely curious. I just think it doesn’t hold up as anything more than a cinematic experiment, instead of an actual movie. Watch Hardcore Henry at your own risk. Maybe you’ll like it. It’s just not my cup of tea.


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