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Hardcore Henry Review

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Good ideas on paper or in a 10 minute youtube video are generally good ideas. In fact some of them are phenomenal. Turning one of the aforementioned good ideas into a feature length movie is also a good idea. The whole nothing ventured nothing gained cliche springs to mind. And then we have Hardcore Henry. Originally an Indiegogo project, this first person action flick is unfortunately too much of a good thing. Yes, you read that right. This is a first person movie. I repeat, a first person movie, not a video game. And if you don't know what a first person video game is, then this certainly isn't the movie for you.

Directed by Ilya Naishuller  and produced by Wanted's Timur Bekmambetov, Hardcore Henry follows the tale of Henry, who wakes up in a Moscow laboratory to learn that he's been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. From there he goes on a bit of a rampage as it were, although don't expect much in the way of plot or dialogue, as Henry hasn't had has voice activated yet. 

The biggest problem with Hardcore Henry is the whole first person idea. Yes, it's epic initially, and if this were a 10 minute short film, it'd be all kinds of amazing. But truth be told, it's really too much of a good thing. In fact, after about 30 minutes (or less) it gets quite boring and audiences will find themselves numb to the entire experience. Or heaving their guts up. If you don't like the Bourne movies in the way Paul Greengrass shot them (lots of tight, hand held work) then you will hate this and anybody who suffers even from the slightest iteration of motion sickness, bring the sick bad, or avoid altogether. 



The pacing throughout Hardcore Henry is frantic and at times the action is phenomenal, but it's hampered by the constant first person viewpoint and again you will find yourself getting incredibly bored. In fact, in between the multiple head shots and explosions I found myself looking at my watch, time and time again. Pun intended.

The story itself tries a little too hard and takes itself quite seriously and t's hard at times to figure out just exactly what the fuck is happening and a lot of the time, things feel dragged out and fattened up, just to serve to get to the next set piece. However, on the plus side, the cast are decent enough, especially Sharlto Copley who puts on a powerhouse performance, adopting multiple personalities. Copley is genuinely the best thing about the movie.

Overall Hardcore Henry relies on it's only selling point, first person. While it was a brave move to do an entire movie in this style, unfortunately it's too much of a good thing and it'll go over the head of most audiences If the movie tried to take itself less seriously, taking influences from the likes of Crank 2 and similar, then this may have been a bit better. However, it's boring, dragged out and a minority of brilliantly executed scenes cannot save it. Ultimately, Hardcore Henry isn't worth the effort.



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The Movie Bit: Hardcore Henry Review
Hardcore Henry Review
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