Hardcore Henry is a rather unique film. I saw this last Sunday and the thought I had on my mind was if the first person aspect was going to work. In all honesty, it did for the type of movie it was. Keeping that in mind, it wasn’t really the best movie in the world. I saw this last Sunday in the afternoon. I already had seats reserved, and I was waiting for the screen to stop with the commercials, to play a video game in the cinema (sort of). If you have no familiarity with this movie, it is the movie equivalent to FPS games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, Star Wars: Battlefront, Half-Life, Halo, etc. This is due to the fact that the entire movie with the exception of a couple scenes, is in a first person view, which is the view in which all of those games are presented in. When I say first person view, I don’t mean that the main character is narrating throughout the movie’s entirety, but you see the movie from his eyes and the view is as if you, the viewer, are actually seeing what Henry’s seeing.
Let’s go over the characters, Henry is basically never actually fully seen throughout the whole movie. You see parts of him, such as his legs, hands, arms, etc. His wife that you are introduced to at the beginning of the movie provides a very interesting vibe for what’s to come. The way she’s talking makes you kind of feel like you actually are Henry. I’m a single teen, but in this moment, I felt like I was actually double my age, and married. I kind of liked the supporting characters, they were kind of interesting, although one of them I won’t mention, kind of confused me in terms of plot.
The action in this movie, is pretty cool to see. The action in this movie is constant and while it may get boring in some movies, it was fun to see what would happen. Like for example Henry would get punched in the face and it would feel like you were punched in the face too. Although I admit, when it came to explosions, I wish Henry’s ears were ringing, after all, this movie is essentially virtual reality in a sense, while VR machines such as Oculus Rift don’t really do this, it would be interesting for this movie to focus on the sense of hearing as well. Also when Henry was flying in the air it was like you were being force pushed off a cliff and hitting a random object, so that intrigued me.
Also fun fact, stay for the credits. There’s no end credit scene so when I say that, I essentially mean stay for the beginning when the cast comes up. In the cast, it says that nobody actually played the main character, Henry. Sources suggest that several stuntmen and cameramen took turns playing him. I don’t know, just thought that was interesting. Speaking of cameramen, the entire movie was shot on a GoPro, which is not that commonplace for a movie. Surprisingly it didn’t take much away from the movie at all. Also, I saw this movie in a theater with reclined seating, and I had the extension all the way back and front, the question I ask myself now is if the action would have felt any bit different if it were viewed from a standard chair. If I see it again I’ll find out.
Next thing I want to touch upon is the ending, without spoiling much, the music could have been better and personally I felt like Henry was kind of a lunatic in the ending, specifically at the VERY END. It personally reminded me of what experienced people think of younger people who play Grand Theft Auto. Although at the same time, I’m wondering if this would have been better if this was a video game. After all, the main character had no voice in the film, it’s in first person, and everyone else is talking around you. Those are cliches you’d find in multiple modern day video games.
In the end, I found Hardcore Henry to be an entertaining film, there were problems involving the plot, the story, some sequences fell flat (not going for humor by the way), but I can still give credit to the crew trying to unleash what they believe is a revolutionary style of filmmaking. I give Hardcore Henry a 6/10. Now that I think about it, this almost reminds me of Christopher Nolan or Quentin Tarantino, although instead of “going back in time” to make their movie, they go after unused ideas. I say this because if you’ve seen either one of these two directors’ movies, instead of using the digital cameras most people use today, they use film. Not to mention, they try to get modern day cinemas to play the movie in film, and that brings a different experience to a movie rather than a traditional movie we’ve probably seen recently. That’s all for the review, but just a reminder if you’re going to see this movie, just be sure not to bring your grandparents. There were signs entering the theater stating this movie can cause motion sickness, so keep that in mind. Remember, Scene Before is your click to the flicks!