Ok, so Hardcore Henry was the most unique and fresh action film i have seen in a really really long time. It is pretty much the first feature length film to attempt to blend the action genre with the first person shooter style, very common in video games, but only briefly seen in film. So after the description and seeing the trailer i was so damn looking forward to seeing this film, the only thing i was worried about was whether this would be able to hold my interest for a whole hour and a half as i had only been exposed to this filming style in smaller 5 minute chunks. And what they manage to pull off to make this movie so damn visually exciting was awesome. It is absolutely insane from start to finish, it was full of a lot of fast paced, brutal, and gruesome action set pieces, and i loved every minute of it. Being essentially the first of its kind it did take the first 10 minutes to adjust to this style but once i did, i couldn’t get enough of it.
Firstly, let’s talk about the reason you would be interested in the film in the first place, the action. Seriously, this film doesn’t hold back, you get your fair share of head bashing, ball crushing violence, and lots and lots of blood. You will laugh, cringe and just be damn right entertained by seeing bad guy after bad guy after bad guy get absolutely destroyed in a whole variety of ways. And one of the biggest worries you may have is whether seeing peoples heads be blown off would get old quickly, but they did a fantastic job at constantly introducing new ways of murdering people with every new action scene, making every scene just as awesome as the previous. The way they managed to pull off all of the action visually is also another thing to applaud the film for. The amount of effects that would have gone into this film to add to the realism of everything would have taken a lot of time, and it was all definitely worth it.
And did i mention there’s actually a good amount of humour in this film? No? Well there bloody is. Rather unexpectedly, it’s actually really funny at quite a few points in the film which really helps craft this great fun tone that keeps you engaged. A lot of this humour is coming from Sharlto Copley (District 9) who was absolutely fantastic in this movie. I won’t spoil anything about his character but the amount of effort he would have had to put in to play this role is impressive, especially due to the fact that he pulled it off with ease and made a really entertaining character. And one thing that really adds to the video game feel of the film is the music, at times it is very reminiscent of Doom’s music, but it also adds to the lighter, more humorous tones a couple of times.
But the movie isn’t all just mindless, pointless violence. There is a pretty well layered story that unfolds gradually as the film goes on. And although it isn’t the main focus of the film it did a really great job at giving the events of the film some much needed context as oppose to just random fights. Apart from Sharlto Copley’s character you don’t get invested into any of the other characters, but it gives you enough to buy into this revenge story, when you’re not admiring the beauty of red blood being projected onto the walls.
So in the end, this movie although i absolutely loved it, isn’t for everyone. If you don’t respond to the trailer at all you may not like this film. But i still think people should still check it out solely due to the experimental aspect of it, being a very new and unique take on the action genre. It’s fun, and fast paced and definitely a good time if you can get your head around the first person style.