Thursday, April 7, 2016

Hardcore Henry - Review

   There are quite a few people who regard certain action films as the most intense thing they’ve ever seen. I’m here to tell you that all of those films pale in comparison to what Hardcore Henry does to the action film. Hardcore Henry is not just an intense sight to be seen but also an intense experience and one that will very likely be the most exhilarating thing in theaters in 2016.

   A man wakes up in a laboratory to learn that he's been brought back from the dead as a half-human, half-robotic hybrid. With no memory of his former life, a woman who claims to be his wife tells him that his name is Henry. Before she can activate his voice, armed thugs storm in and kidnap her. As Henry starts to understand his new abilities, he embarks on a bloody rampage through the city to save his spouse from a psychopath (Danila Kozlovsky) who plans to destroy the world.

   The biggest aspect and the most recognizable thing about this film will be the first person perspective. Action films have utilized this camera angle before but not for an entire feature length film like Hardcore Henry has done. For the skeptical, a point-of-view movie might not sound like it would work but trust me, it does.

   It isn’t all action though as something has to drive the plot forward. A great, yet small, part by Tim Roth is great for the time he is on screen but in a first person perspective, a second character has to carry the story. Which of course, in this films case, falls upon Sharlto Copley’s shoulders. In perhaps the most interesting part of the film, Copley provides comedic moments and ultimately shines through his tremendous range as an actor. But even through this rather great performance he still plays second fiddle to the action itself.

   Sometimes things just feel revolutionary and this is one of those times. What Ilya Naishuller, the director, does with this entirely POV action film is absolutely incredible and it’s hard to imagine other films not using this moving forward because of what was done here. Of course there are some times where things move a little too fast, but this isn’t because of the first person perspective, just more about the current state of fast paced action. This is Naishuller’s first film, but if I were betting man I would say he would get plenty of calls after this.

   Overall, Hardcore Henry is an absolute thrill ride of a film. There are a few moments where the action is hard to see but it doesn’t cut the intensity or tension, just confuses you for a moment. Sharlto Copley brings the humor and Ilya Naishuller brings the intensity for a combination that is both entertaining and innovating. (7.5/10)

So what did you think of Hardcore Henry? Have you seen it and what do you of the POV style? Share, subscribe, comment below, and as always return to I Am Sam for weekly reviews.