Screen Gems review: "Hardcore Henry"
April 1, 2016
Rated R for non-stop bloody brutal violence and mayhem, language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug use
Studio: STX Entertainment
"Hardcore Henry" tries a new way of presenting a movie. The film's gimmick is actually pretty clever. Take GoPro cameras and strap them to a bunch of fearless stuntmen. We watch the action unfold in first person point of view. Everything that happens to Henry looks like it's happening to you.
It's an interesting twist, for about 10 minutes or so.
After that, it's just a jerky, nauseating, headache-inducing mess.
The story starts with Henry in a lab. He has no idea how he's gotten there. The information gap is filled in by a beautiful blonde scientist. Estelle (Haley Bennett), tells Henry she's his wife. And after strapping some high-tech artficial limbs to Henry, she tells him he's in trouble and he must escape. Thus begins the mind-numbing carnage you'll be subjected to over the next hour and a half. Henry must avoid the bad guys, including an albino (Danila Kozlovsky) with an army of technologically-enhanced stooges.
The reasons for Henry's predicament don't really matter. The story takes second place to the mere spectacle of what you're seeing.
Explosions. Fights. Falls. You name it, you see it in a way movies really haven't shown action before.
Writer-director Ilya Naishuller came up with a good premise, but then failed to deliver a story which made any sense. "Hardcore Henry" has a plot which is merely and excuse to show you the next scene of graphic violence. Another problem is the rapid camera moviement. If you are vulnerable to any type of motion sickness, this is a film you definitely want to avoid.
We never see or hear Henry. We only see through his eyes. And that's not nearly enough to care about what happens to the character. This is a first-person video game dressed up and presented as an action movie. I give credit to the filmmakers for somehow shooting all of the extreme action without getting anyone killed, but that's not enough to redeem everything else which fails,
On my rating scale, "Hardcore Henry" earns a LUMP OF COAL.