The Harbinger Online

Review: Hardcore Henry


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When I first saw the trailer for Hardcore Henry, a movie filmed completely out of stuntmen with go-pros strapped to their head, I was skeptical to say the least.

It was a non-stop thrill ride behind the eyes of a silent protagonist who would not let anyone slow him down from getting his wife back and taking down the villain of the story, Akan.

Henry is a half-man, half-robot who wakes up in a Russian lab next to his wife. Akan, a psycho obsessed with power, takes Henry’s wife and attempts to kill him. Henry can’t speak yet due to the operation, so his accomplice, Jimmy, leads him through what he needs to do to take down Akan.

I came into this movie wanting it to be a new, revolutionary way of making an action movie. To provide some variety in the genre with the first-person POV, instead of a sixteenth Fast and Furious movie.

However, the peculiar, yet weak storyline, plus the unrelatable characters quickly made me bored with what happened to Henry or his accomplices.

There were very few breaks in between the insane and complex action scenes. It seemed like they were trying to fill an insanely high budget as Henry jumped out of a helicopter and then was being attacked by a flamethrower.

I have to give major props to the Russian director, Ilya Naishuller, for not shying away from the critics who said it’s “like videogame that you could not control”. He knew this movie was “stupid” in a sense and poked at that aspect, making the movie a lot more fun. He did this with jokes directed towards it and over-exaggerating the action scenes.

Henry is being led through his missions by Jimmy, seemingly his only friend in this whole ordeal. He is a prime example of Naishuller poking at this movie being like a Call of Duty video game. Jimmy is constantly being killed and reborn as a different version. You don’t find out why until the end, and it’s weirder than it needs to be.

The psycho villainous character of this movie, Akan, was by far my least favorite character of the movie. He was developed so poorly and I could not understand what he was all about. His “superpowers” were never explained and nowhere near what a villain needs to be in these kinds of movies. I wanted him to be scary, funny and unique, like the Joker in Batman.

The first person POV was fun for the first half hour, then it became nauseating. As the end neared, I was done with the first person, especially since in the last few scenes it felt like they were using all of the fake blood in Russia.

By the end, I couldn’t tell whether I liked it or hated it, probably a little bit of both. I enjoyed the action and fresh idea, but hated the storyline and characters.

I recommend this movie to people who love video games such as Call of Duty or those that just want to see insane action scenes. But, I would not suggest it to people planning to go with their kids, due to the R rating and constant gore, or an adult who appreciates the storyline more.

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