Hardcore Henry is…. Hardcore! (Movie Review)

Hardcore Henry (2015)
STX Entertainment

Directed by: Ilya Naishuller
Written by: Ilya Naishuller, Will Stewart
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth

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The Good:
As you can see from the poster and the trailer, one of the unique aspects of this movie is the first-person point of view camera angle. The entire film is shot in this manner, and surprisingly, the director (Ilya Naishuller) manages to get you accustomed to this perspective rather quickly. This camera view really helps to intensify the chases, fights and many of the other action scenes.

Without question, the action and gory violence are this film’s strongest highlights. The violence truly lives up to the name of the movie because it really is hardcore. (Definitely not for those with weak stomachs) A lot of the graphic violence will simply shock you and probably even entertain you if you have a “particular” sense of humor. Given the minimal cut scenes, many of the intense action scenes that will keep your eyes glued to the screen.

Going back to the humor, there were a lot of unexpected funny moments in the movie. A lot of that credit has to go to (Sharlto Copley) who plays the character of “Jimmy”. Jimmy almost stole the whole movie. He was by far one of the most intriguing characters.

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The Bad:
If you were looking for a deep plot, then don’t get your hopes up. It’s as straight forward of a story as can be. The movie does try to create a bit of a mystery about the main character, “Henry”. However, the character’s background and overall development don’t seem to pan out. Furthermore, the villain doesn’t seem to have any real motivation either. “Akan”, played by Danila Kozlovsky, just seems to be bad for badness’ sake. He’s a classic video game boss villain. Matter of fact, a lot of the movie is set up like a video game. So if you’re not a gamer, you may find the random assortment of guns, power ups and boss villains as a turn-off.

The Reason:
Remember all of that stuff I said in The Bad? Well forget it. Okay, the story isn’t rock solid, and the characters aren’t fully developed; but who really cares? This movie was never meant to be taken that seriously. It’s self-aware of itself in the sense that it’s really just meant to entertain and shock you. You can literally turn your brain off and just watch the movie. Hardcore Henry is like a roller coaster ride. You’ll have plenty of fun while you’re on the ride, but once you get off, the high is over. Video game lovers naturally will gravitate to this movie. Hardcore Henry gets most of its points from me because of its originality, action, and humor. You could probably think of this film as Call of Duty + Deadpool to a certain degree. (No, it’s not AS good as Deadpool, but it has a similar feel to it.)

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I actually enjoyed this film, but I don’t think that it’s for everyone. It’s a mixture of science fiction, video games, action, and other elements that will target maybe more of a millennial audience. If you’re in the mood for something very different, it’s worth a shot. If the trailer seems even remotely interesting, then definitely give it a shot. If you pay for the matinee, I think you’ll be even more pleased. Go in with low expectations, and enjoy the ride.

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