(SPOILER WARNING!!! This article does contain spoilers, if you haven’t seen the movie, just see the first paragraph to be informed without spoilers!!!)
Hardcore Henry is an interesting gimmicky kind of movie, which keeps you engage with a lot of fun, but the payoff in the end was very underwhelming and not worth the headaches you get from the shaky cameras!!!
Rating: 3 Stars
A good old gimmick film. A lot of these gimmicks can be really groundbreaking like the slow motion in The Matrix, or the camera capture movie like in Cloverfield. The thing with it is that then these types of gimmicks are completely overused. Especially the shaky cameras which can give you a headache when they are brutally using it up too much. The Matrix slow motion style of filming has really changed the genre of action in a very cool way, but even then, some movies overuse it. The thing about gimmicks in film is that when it is used for the first time, it can be the greatest thing ever. Once other movies started using it, it can be whatever. Then they have to create in a different way to make it work which can be successful. Like 300, where they used it very effectively in their action scenes. With this movie Hardcore Henry, I believed that this gimmick is not as groundbreaking as the others (cuz it was used in many music videos), but it was still interesting for me to give a good watch. At the very least, I can appreciate the hard work that was done for the film. In that regard I did, but my main concern was did it have a good story, and it kind of didn’t. Allow me to explain.
What I Like: If you’re into a fun and bloody action movie, this is your movie. They have the gimmick of filming a movie all in first person view point. It engages an audience to be a person named Henry. A science experiment where you are severely injured, but now, you have mechanical limbs and become a fighting machine trying to save your life, and your wife Estelle, played by Haley Bennett. The movie was pretty much filmed by a Go Pro Camera attached to many different peoples head to really give that authentic first person view. All the action that ensues is just one crazy fight after another, and being helped by a guy named Jimmy, played by Sharlto Copley, who always comes in different characters of the same name and be brutally killed. The action is over the top, especially the scenes where he fights an army of mercenaries and the final scenes where he fights an army of robotic humans. The violence is so bloody with lots of gun shooting, stabbing, blood splattering, and explosions. Some scenes can be so over the top that it is hilarious. One good example is when some mercenaries were climbing to the of the stairs and Henry throws a grenade, once it explodes, you see a guy flying in the air dismembered, screaming his lungs out. There were many scenes that involve sky diving, driving, jumping to one place to another, and all in extreme ways. There were many over the top scenes, and if that is what you like, you will love this movie. Another scene which I thought was creatively good is when Henry meets the real Jimmy who is a paraplegic that invented different robot clones of himself where he controls them and try to help Henry. The way he shows how he controls all the robots in a musical number where each robot comes in singing and dancing was weirdly entertaining. I’m sure a lot of work was done from director, Ilya Naishuller (who is part of a Russian rock band called Biting Elbows) and actor Copley to make that musical scene flow very well.
The So So: They did have a villain in the movie named Akan, played by Danila Kozlovsky, a tech business owner who wants to create all these robots to be perfect soldiers including Henry. Though I didn’t get the reason why, but since he was responsible for making Jimmy a paraplegic because he failed on his first attempt. Jimmy wants revenge against him by controlling Henry. Akan even had a Magneto like power of controlling metal things, including Henry which makes him hard to get close to. If Akan had that type of power why he needed an army of robot soldiers? His power is very powerful enough for him to take over the world, if that is his goal. Wasn’t really explained why he even have such powers. Regardless, with this type of movie, it shows how crazy he can get in attaining his goal. His personality is very crazy, occasionally, very Jokerish as well which adds to the over the typeless of this movie.
What I Didn’t Like: The shaky cameras, though realistic in a first person view, can be too much and actually gave me a headache. Though I really stuck with it, hoping for a good ending. Unfortunately, the ending, which should of been a big pay off, was very underwhelming. The story was very thin for a sci-fy sort of type of movie. No real scientific explanation other than there is human robots fighting. Even the twist in the end just really added more questions. The twist of his supposed wife Estelle, was just a ploy to get him to fight for something in his true potential, and was actually Akan’s wife. It just made this story more flatter than it already is. It wasn’t worth the headache the movie gave me. It made me endure for nothing. Then when they revealed how Henry looks (which I knew it was coming), I really didn’t care.
Overall: This movie has a lot of over the top action that can please all the action junkies (I am to a certain extent), and the violence can make this a fun but gory movie for everyone who likes that type of movie. If you’re looking for a complete movie, this is not your type of movie whatsoever. As for the gimmick of the first person view, I thought it was a cool gimmick, but I don’t believe it is groundbreaking enough to be used in future movies. Although maybe for certain scenes it can be cool (they already did it in The Brothers Grimsby), but it’s not for future movies to come!!!
(Sidenote: The Intern- This movie did have a lot of charm. You don’t see Robert De Niro play a very good and charming guy, and he did it very very well. He plays a senior intern for an e-commerce fashion website and gets paired with the CEO and founder of the company, played by the beautiful Anne Hathaway. They showed a lot of chemistry with each other which made this movie very charming and funny. However, the movie really lacked any depth due to a lack of conflict. It kind of made this movie a little boring to watch. If you’re into feel good type of movies, this a a pretty decent watch!!!
Rating: 3.5 Stars)