Movie Review: Hardcore Henry


Image Courtesy of IMDb

Released in theaters in 2016, “Hardcore Henry” is a science fiction action film following the titular Henry as he awakens from a terrible accident mute and with amnesia. Henry’s wife, Estelle, has transformed Henry into a cyborg in order to save his life. Before Estelle can restore Henry’s vocal cords, a group of mercenaries attack Estelle’s lab to capture her research. Henry manages to escape Moscow, where he proceeds to fight an army of henchmen using his combat skills and enhanced body.

“Hardcore Henry” is shot from a first-person perspective, meaning the audience sees what the protagonist sees. This results in a viewing experience closer to watching someone play “Call of Duty” rather than watching a conventionally shot film.

The film takes full advantage of its first-person gimmick, constantly throwing inventive and entertaining scenarios at the viewer. A couple of scenes that come to mind include Henry getting in a shootout at a strip club and Henry getting chased by drunk people (the film’s best moments are best left unspoiled). The unique presentation enhances the comedy of these scenes, since there is the impression that Henry, and by extension the viewer, are personally experiencing these absurd events.

The story of “Hardcore Henry” is definitely not its selling point. “Hardcore Henry” was written and directed by Timur Bekmambetov, who said that the protagonist was only a cyborg because a human would be unable to survive the first few minutes of the film. Also, when taking into account that the movie is essentially a series of action sequences, it becomes apparent that there is a certain purity to the film. “Hardcore Henry” is 100% entertainment—for better or for worse.

It should be noted that the shaky first-person camera footage will make a good proportion of the audience nauseous.

Rated 7/10.