Thursday, 7 April 2016

Hardcore Henry Review

Hardcore Henry is an action film completely shot from the first-person point of view of its lead character. Apart from found footage films that use the POV of a character's camera, I think this is probably the first total first-person POV film since Lady in the Lake attempted it in 1947. And Hardcore Henry is a hell of a lot more fun than that.

It's from director Ilya Naishuller who made the music videos I have embedded below. Once you've seen these, you'll have a very good idea of exactly what Hardcore Henry is going to be like. Below these is a snippet of my review of the film.

The titular Henry awakes in a flying laboratory after losing two limbs and most of his face in some unseen grisly accident. His scientist wife, Estelle (Bennett), is putting him back together with new robotic parts when suddenly telekinetic villain Akan (Kozlovsky) bursts in, kidnaps Henry’s beloved and sends his henchman to hunt and kill poor Henry. But they’ve underestimated this half-cyborg super-soldier and his determination to get his wife back, even if he’s running low on power and hasn’t got any memories of his former life.

Just because films based on video games never work, it doesn’t mean that cinema can’t have its very own version of a first-person shoot-‘em-up. Hardcore Henry is so much like playing a video game, that it feels strange not to have a controller in your hand. Copley pops up throughout the film as Jimmy to tell Henry/you what the next mission/level is that needs to be completed. You might find yourself tilting your head, straining to see what Henry sees from a clearer angle, or recoiling from the screen as his enemies leap, punch, kick, and shoot at him. There’s even time for a sniper’s eye view as you stand on a balcony picking off enemies below you...

Read the rest of my review of Hardcore Henry at Starburst Magazine here. 

Here's the trailer:

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