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Hardcore Henry (Film Review & Trailer)






Review by John Delia

Introducing a first person perspective cinematography non-stop action film that’s thoroughly mind-blowing. Hardcore Henry gets so staggering that you may want to take along a barf bag or at least take a Dramamine at least an hour before entering the theater. The film movies along so fast and furious that I found myself holding onto the arm rests of my seat.

Total chaos and mayhem are kind words for this production as it tips the scale on brutal up-in-your-face pandemonium. Think the movie Crank on steroids or The Raid using a hand held camera. Even John Wick is tame compared to Hardcore Henry and considering the slicing and dicing in that film you should have the point by now. If you are not squeamish, do not get motion sickness and are able to take Dramamine, then you should survive Hardcore Henry. That is however, if you can also take a mind-bending beating from what’s going on the big screen in front of you.

Estelle (Haley Bennett) being held by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky)

Estelle (Haley Bennett) being held by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky)

Here’s the plot, just a simple story with a twist. Henry an ex- military man has just been brought back to life after being killed. He’s had loss of both arms from the elbows and legs below the knees. Fit with special prostheses he’s about to be awakened by his wife Estelle (Haley Bennett), one of the scientists that worked on him. Coming to, his wife tells him his name is Henry and that they are married. All of a sudden the lab gets attacked and she gets kidnapped by the evil warlord with superpowers, Akan (Danila Kozlovsky). Henry jumps to his feet and the chase begins. His only help is a man named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley).

One of Akan's many henchmen in HARDCORE HENRY

One of Akan’s many henchmen in HARDCORE HENRY

The action continues non-stop with Henry using his amazing new strength, fighting ability and stamina. Director and writer Ilya Naishuller films the movie using a special GoPro camera that gives the viewer the perspective of seeing through the eyes of Henry as he fights his way through the city trying to get to his kidnapped wife. Between him and her are hundreds of henchmen hired by one of the most diabolical antiheroes Akan. The devastation and combat are all seen as if you are on Henry’s back looking over his shoulder. You’re seeing what this extreme killer does to take out his enemy that’s in the way of his goal. It gets bumpy, shaky and jerky as the grenades explode and the bullets pierce him and all things within eye view.

Jimmy played by Sharlto Copley

Jimmy played by Sharlto Copley

It’s a real wild ride and one I enjoyed as film critic that wants to let his audience know what’s available, good or bad. This one’s a winner in my book. I like the technique (although not to be understood that all films should include it) and the extreme explosive mess that Henry has to maneuver to get to his wife. The high energy emitted feels like the adrenaline rush created by the movie Crank in which our hero has been poisoned with the clock ticking to find the perpetrator for the antidote. You can call a video game on the big screen with you enjoying the show as an onlooker. Sure the film targets males 18 plus, but strong female gamers who love that kind of action should fit the mold as well.

Hardcore Henry has been rated R for non-stop bloody brutal violence and mayhem, language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug use. The film has a combination of mostly English with Russian dialogue English subtitled. The film is not for the faint of heart.

FINAL ANALYSIS: A fun ride that moves along purposefully at an amazing pace. (B)

Additional Film Information:
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Andrey Dementiev, Dasha Charusha, Sveta Ustinova, Tim Roth
Directed and Written by: Ilya Naishuller
Genre: Sci-fi, Action, Thriller
MPAA Rating: Rated R for non-stop bloody brutal violence and mayhem, language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug use
Running Time: 1 hr.35 min.
Release Date: April 8, 2016
Distributed by: STX Entertainment

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