A nice one-off filled with non-stop action.
In November 2014, a trailer surfaced online for a film called Hardcore that set the Internet on fire. Originally the film started as a Kickstarter campaign and eventually entered production, it was and still is the only one of its kind besides the arthouse flick Enter the Void. Hardcore Henry is one of the most original films to come out in a long time, and that’s saying a lot considering the amount of sequels, reboots, and rehashes that are released every year. But does the movie succeed as a film or just a cool experiment?
It’s a little bit of both, to be honest, and that’s not a bad thing, it’s just that this movie really isn’t for everyone. As a matter of fact definitely watch the trailer before you see this movie so you know what you’re getting yourself into. It’s bloody, it’s brutal, and it’s badass, but it’s definitely not engaging. The two mains flaws Hardcore Henry possesses is its camera work and pace, a lot of the first two acts of the film are inconsistent invisibility leaving the viewer wondering what the hell is going on with glimpses of some genuinely great action sequences. The pace of the film becomes an issue when the story tries to flesh itself out but every time there was a hint of incoming serenity the film thrusts the viewer back into its orgy of destruction. On paper that sounds magnificent but sometimes the film and even the viewer need to take a breath and slow down for a minute.
But don’t mistake this film for having a deep plot and intense character development; it’s a balls-out brutal kill fest with you at the helm. Director Ilya Naishuller really nails the first person perspective even with its said flaws and proves that experiments can pay off in the long run. Hardcore Henry can be appreciated for what it is, a technical feat mixed in with a mindless action movie, and that’s really all it is at its core. So take it for what it is and enjoy the ride.
– Kyle Pinaro