REVIEW: ‘Hardcore Henry: The Ultimate Fan Experience’: First Person Snoozer

Hardcore Henry is film shot entirely through Gopro cameras in an effort to make it seem like the viewer is living the action. The movie does offer a new experience for the audience. Unfortunately, this doesn’t automatically mean the film is enjoyable.

Henry is a man who has been turned into a cyborg by his wife. Akan, a man with psychic powers wants to use Henry’s wife to take over the world by having her create more cyborgs. Now Henry must fight to get her back using the most brutal methods at his disposal.

This film is incredible boring. Despite the action and violence it displays their is nothing for the audience to feel tension over. There are very few scene which help get a feel for any of the characters or find a way to connect with them. You’ll feel more for sympathy for the actor who is knocked over in the chase scene involving the escalators than you will for the entire cast. If an audience isn’t able to connect with any of the characters, why will they care if they live or die?

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Frankly, the direction and production design of this film is too well set up. Henry knows exactly where to go at every moment. There are too view scenes of him looking around wondering what to do next. A prime example is when he is set on fire and jumps out a bus window. He runs forward and grabs a bottle of water to extinguish the flames before we can even get the shot realizing where water would be. This results in few scene of tension or build up from reaching for a weapon or even seeing what resources are available to the hero. He knows exactly where they are and in what order to obtain them to succeed.

All of the actors are playing over the top caricatures. Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) seems threatening at first with his powers but repeated scenes make his over the top super villain performance lose its appeal. Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), a scientist who has a found a way to broadcast himself into multiple robotic bodies is amusing to watch until you realize he’s entertaining because each robot is a different caricature itself such a stoner or a proper British officer.

Hardcore Henry

The Hardcore Henry: The Ultimate Fan Experience opened with a Q & A featuring director Ilya Naishuller and actor Sharlto Copley. They took the time to field questions some of the crowd funded individuals were allowed to asks for giving a certain amount to the project. Surprisingly not one of them was “Who do I see for a refund?”

The film really is like watching someone play a real life video game. Some may try to defend it  by insisting streaming game play is popular these days and people like watching others play games. The difference is when you watch someone on a streaming service you usually hear them talking, know them personally, or are able to hear their commentary as they play the game. It causes the viewer to become interested and engaged in the player and how they perform. Sadly, there is nothing to make the viewer engaged in this film other than the over the top violence. If you love gore, this is your movie. If not, watch anything else really.

Anthony Wendel
Anthony Wendelhttp://www.thegiganticproject.com
Anthony is a geek through and through who still looks forward to new releases, sneak peeks, Giant Monsters, and robots of all shapes and sizes. He loves animation of all shapes and sizes. He has a distinct apprehension for trolling and clips shows. His books, The Handbook for Surviving A Giant Monster Attack and Santa Claus Conquers Manos: The Hands of Fate are available on Amazon.

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