Hardcore Henry (2016)
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett, Danila Kozlovsky
Directed by: Ilya Naishuller
Written by: Ilya Naishuller, Will Stewart
Rating: R Running Time: 1 hr. 36 min
Hardcore Henry is a thoroughly unpleasant experience from beginning to end. A no-holds-barred, motion sickness inducing garbage fire of a film. It’s gimmick (shot entirely first-person) soon lives out its welcome once it becomes clear there’s no plot, and not a single character worth caring about.
I had high hopes for this film. I enjoy a good bit of manic action as much as the next guy. The trailers promised a truly bat-shit crazy time, with some creative camera and stunt work. And while there are the odd moments of cleverness, most of the action is damn near incomprehensible. Which is a shame, because while a movie like this can get away with a paper-thin plot and characters, it’s one saving grace should be the fluid presentation of its first-person action. If the action was genuinely unique and dazzling, it would be easier to turn a blind eye to the film’s failings.
Hardcore Henry, however, is just bloody, loud, and stupid. The shock factor on the violence peaks early, and by the end of the film it’s just boring. The plot doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, and the performances from Sharlto Copley and Danila Kozlovsky are obnoxious. The story doesn’t present anything worth caring about, and its gimmicky Gopro filmed action isn’t good enough to make you overlook the film’s huge flaws.
This is like watching ninety-six minutes of Call of Duty played back at double speed. If that sounds good to you then by all means, check this out. Hardcore Henry is rated R for extreme violence, language, drug use and nudity.
The villain, Akan, played by Danila Kozlovsky. A terrible performance and a terrible character. No back story, nothing that explains his motivations, and a set of never addressed telekinetic powers.