Hardcore Henry (2016)

Hardcore (2015 film).jpgFirst Person Shit

Director: Ilya Naishuller
Running Time: 96 Minutes
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Danila Koslovsky, Haley Bennett, Andrei Dementiev, Dasha Charusha, Svetlana Ustinova, Tim Roth

Henry is resurrected, brought back as a cyborg by his wife, Estelle (Haley Bennett). Before his voice is installed and his memories returned, telekinetic tyrant Akan (Danila Koslovsky) breaks in, kidnapping Estelle. With the help of a reappearing stranger named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), Henry is on a mission to save his wife, and kill Akan.

It's clear what director Ilya Naishuller intends to do here, and that's deliver a brand new kind of action film. Filmed with GoPro cameras, the attempt to deliver a FPS action movie is admirable, but full of problems. For starters, the action scenes are left incomprehensible, thanks to dizzying camerawork. It's not much better outside of the action, as small movements like Henry shaking his head make things difficult to view. On the basis of these scenes, it'd be fair to assume the director was an over-excitable child on a life threatening sugar high.

Image result for hardcore henry youtubeThere's little to our title hero. A mute with little memory of his past, Henry's as engaging as a plank of wood. Explanations are made for the lack of a voice and a past, but there remains no excuse for a lack of personality, as we're left with little to care about our lead, or his flimsy mission.

Sharlto Copley embodies Kenny from South Park, appearing in a different guise after each death occurs onscreen. While it may be intriguing to see Copley in a Punk Rock guise, or delivering a one-man musical number, but it's not worth trudging through this empty mess to witness. Danila Koslovsky chews the scenery as irritating antagonist, Akan, while Haley Bennett is wasted in her role. That's nothing on Tim Roth though, who's poorly used in a one scene cameo (shown twice!).

The intent is somewhat admirable for Hardcore Henry, but the execution is utterly dire. A dull Let's Play of a mediocre PlayStation game, how this film got a theatrical release is one of 2016's great mysteries.

0.5 stars photo 0.5stars.jpg