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Hardcore Henry seems poised to reinvent the action flick, but without a story or characters worth caring about, its first-person gimmick quickly loses its thrill. Read critic reviews
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Audience Reviews for Hardcore Henry
Jun 11, 2017Outstanding direction and effects. Some phenomenal action sequences (the chase scenes more so than the fight sequences). And the Jimmy character is great. Only thing lacking was enough storyline to on'es your attention between action scenes.
Jan 24, 2017An unabashed first-person shooter, Hardcore Henry is packed with non-stop action. The story (if it can be called such) follows a cyborg named Henry who awakens to his wife being abducted by a mysterious telekinetic crime boss, but he manages to escape capture and must go on the run; getting help from a techy named Jimmy who gives him tasks to complete that will help him survive. Shot entirely in first person, the film commits 100% to the "first-person shooter" video game aesthetic; even going so far as to have Jimmy randomly show up on every level with a fresh map of where to go and instructions on what to do. However, either through poor writing or directing, it's really hard to follow what's going on and incredibly disorienting. Still, Sharlto Copley and Haley Bennett manage to deliver fairly good performances and the fight scenes are incredibly intense and exciting; at least for a while, until it all becomes a much of noise. Hardcore Henry has a daring vision and is entertaining, but it doesn't really work as a film.
Jan 03, 2017Here it finally is: First person shooter - the movie. That's infuriatingly shaky to the degree of making you sick, lacking any kind of coherent story or respect for human life (what a surprise). No charm, no (functioning) humor, just some pretty decent stunt work. That is not enough to make me sit through this. I quit halfway through.
Dec 15, 2016The found footage genre has become a gimmick and certain moviegoers are always looking for a new and inventive way to tell stories. Hardcore Henry explores a first person-style action flick, which has never been done on the big screen until now. I was very hesitant on watching this film, because I was afraid it was just going to come off as a cool concept and eventually taper off by the end of the film. After watching Hardcore Henry, I can confidently say that it did not have me surprised in any way. It really is just a neat concept that is executed with precision, but little to no story to truly care about. Here is why I believe Hardcore Henry is extremely cool, but only for about 20 minutes. From the opening shot, you know what the style of this film is going to be like. Having said that, it never really prepares you for all of the realistic violence throughout the film. The film chooses to slowly escalate and never really intends on stopping that escalation. This is both entertaining and jarring at the same time, but also ends up being the biggest flaw with the film. Although it is trying to go for the coolest sequences possible, it focusses more on topping the previous action scenes, rather than focussing on its story. For the first act of the film, I found myself entertained by the spectacle, but that wore off pretty fast, making this a very weak film in my opinion. Essentially, Hardcore Henry is about a man (Henry) who is resurrected from the dead as a robotic figure, told he has a past life and a wife, comes into contact with a man who is bio-engineering humans for combat and we pretty much are the embodiment of Henry as he travels from set piece to set piece. The story seems somewhat original, but you can't help but draw comparisons to better films that it seems to be borrowing from throughout its duration. Personally, I found myself comparing it to the film Crank. I became too distracted by how unoriginal the plot felt, that my mind eventually became numb to the action. As a whole, I would be lying if I said I enjoyed watching this film, but I would also be lying if I said I wasn't blown away by the filmmaking aspects. This is easily what makes this film watchable. It truly does feel like you are playing a realistic video game and the visuals are impeccably done, as far as the violence and action set pieces are played out. Also, I need to commend Sharlto Copley for delivering a very enjoyable performance in having to deliver multiple versions of himself. To me, that was the most enjoyable aspect about this film. Written and directed by Ilya Naishuller, Hardcore Henry definitely makes me want to see more from what this guy can do, but maybe just as a director. The story here is what bothered me, in that I truly didn't care about who lived or died, especially in the final act. The end of the film is far too abrupt, making it truly seem like it was just made for the camerawork. In the end, Hardcore Henry is incredible to look at for about 20 minutes, until you really see what the story is and that each scene is going to try and top the last, as far as entertainment levels go. This film wore me down pretty fast and I can't quite recommend this film, even though it is worth seeing for the visual style alone. Aside from that, it is a hollow film and the little substance that it does have, is left on the table when the film ends too abruptly. For video game fans or hopeful future filmmakers that want to see something intuitive, that is about the only demographic I can recommend this to. I can't see anyone loving this, but it will definitely earn some fans from those categories. Overall, Hardcore Henry is cool to experience for a while, but it just needed a much better premise.