Hardcore Henry - Quickie Review


What's good

- Creative new take on the action movies
- Great, over-the-top and gory action and choreography
- Loads of very impressive tracking shots

A nice new "perspective" on action.

What's bad

- Unrelatable silent protagonist and two-dimensional characters
- Extremely thin, barebones storyline
(- Some of the very chaotic fight scenes can get hard to follow)

(- Danger for some viewers to experience motion sickness)

"It's dangerous to go alone. Take this."


- Henry killing villain Akan in suitably ridiculous fashion.

Also Tim Roth is in the movie...for some reason.

The Verdict

Though it doesn't reinvent the genre and sometimes might come off as somewhat of a gimmick driven one-trick-pony, Hardcore Henry nevertheless succeeds in bringing a breeze of fresh air to action movies. Being completely shot in first-person from the perspective of silent cyborg-protagonist Henry, Hardcore Henry features a huge amount of expectedly very impressive tracking shots along with some very cool and over-the-top action choreography to boot. Featuring the same humor, gore and action style of movies like Crank or Shoot 'em Up, fans of those movies will feel right at home with Hardcore Henry. And considering the rather small budget, it's truely impressive how much of a nonstop adrenalin induced action piece director Ilya Naishuller and his team managed to create.
Being best described as "Egoshooter Videogame: The Movie", Hardcore Henry will definitely serve in terms of nonstop action, yet it sadly basically lacks in every other aspect. With the story and characters playing out and behaving pretty much exactly like in a run-off-the-mill egoshooter, the movie's storyline is just as paperthin as the movie's characters: Henry wakes up and has to rescue his girlfriend from the bad guy...and that's pretty much it. Sure, it's enough to give a rough narrative outline, but the story in Hardcore Henry has admittedly barely any more purpose than to be an excuse to have Henry just stumble from one action set-piece to the next.

Overall Hardcore Henry sure isn't for everybody, but if you are immune to motion sickness and are open to experience an over-the-top action movie from a first-person-perspective for a change, Hardcore Henry will definitely make for a fun time. However, being as videogame inspired as it is, those interested shouldn't expect much else than a cool to look at series of first-person-action scenes, making Hardcore Henry visually very remarkable but unfortunately extremely forgettable from any other angle.

Final Verdict: 5 out of 10

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