Hardcore Henry is definitely a different kind of action film bringing something we're well used to at this point which is an adrenaline filled ride and then mixes it with the ability of being right in the action. This is done with the use of the first person perspective (POV) which is common for games and not a type of film that's ever been made. We've seen small dabbles of the style in action movies, but no film has gone full out until now. It actually works quite well for the most part aside from some bits nausea during longer running sequences, but it does reside as you get used to the viewing style. It was actually also a very well done action movie featuring some wild sequences that were well choreographed and very violent. The story was decent enough as Henry gets awakened by his wife in a facility after all his memory is lost and basically rebuilds Henry. There's also an evil corporation involved, they take Henry's wife and a quest to save her begins. This leads Henry to discover he's basically just a terminator and he begins to meet a number of people that work along with him. There's this one great character named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley) that constantly pops up in a completely different way each time and he was great. I felt the first half of the movie was mostly just alright, but at the halfway point the movie really builds momentum with some intense action sequences. The movie was also very funny at times and for a mute protagonist Henry was hilarious with his actions.
Despite being given only small glimpses of Henry throughout the film he had a ton of characteristics which were shown instead of being told to us and they nailed that aspect. There were great little nods, gestures and general insanity in front of this man as he made his way to a large variety of locations. I was also a fan of the violence as it was well done and brought in constantly creative ways instead of just being a large shooting movie, though there was a good stockpile of ammunition fired. I also found the supporting group of characters such as Henry's wife Estelle (Haley Bennett) being great along with their key enemy Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) which had some surprising tricks that I'll leave as a surprise. Despite these characters being well done it was really Sharlto Copley's Jimmy that stole a good amount of the show with a wide range of personalities and good laughs.
Hardcore Henry delivered on exactly what it set out to do and that was intense levels of action from a perspective that's never been fully explored in movies. The view definitely worked out fine for the film though I can see some having issues from not being used to it and I wouldn't mind seeing other films dabble with this perspective. The story was decent enough and did actually surprise me with some twists thrown into the madness of Henry running about killing everyone in sight. Well done action and fight sequences aside it was a funny movie as well which is important and the film in general went from decent to great at the halfway point so definitely worth checking for something that's different.
Review for Hardcore Henry at Theater with AVX Viewing
Screening Provided by VVS Films