From the moment I saw the trailer for Hardcore Henry earlier this year, the intrigue got the better of me for what would otherwise be a movie I would stay way clear of, and the idea of shaky camera action and the first person perspective is something that I would never even dream of watching at home, let alone at the cinema on the big screen, but the high octane action and the very unique concept sold me from day one.
H/H premiered at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival on September 12, 2015, and received huge critical acclaim, thus being snapped up by STX to go forward with an international release. The story focuses on the protagonist Henry, who, after waking up in some from of rehabilitation centre finds himself having bionic limbs attached to his body, no memory of any event leading up to that and stood over by a woman whom he believes to be his wife. On the run from a group of mercenaries, Henry must use his bionic adaptations, and new found strength and agility to outrun the people trying to kill him, work out who he is, and rescue his wife from a warlord who intends to use the technology inside Henry to create an army of super soldiers.
When you’re going in to see a movie like this, there is a certain reservation you take with you in terms of how you’re going to watch it and then later review it. And as far as I was concerned, I just wanted to have a fun time at the theatre with an exciting action flick... and my goodness, I got it! This film from the get go was an incredible immersive experience that had you feeling like you were at the helm of a series of incredible set pieces, gun fights, and car chases. It literally never stops, and even when it does, you are given a few brief moments to almost feel like you need to catch your breath, to then start again with the next big sequence of events. The first person view is incredibly disorienting at first, but after a while you gradually get used to it and become attuned to everything going on.
Quite frankly the acting an dialogue wasn’t amazing, in the ‘slowed down’ scenes, that allowed for the story to develop, but as a prefaced earlier, you see this sort of movie for one reason, and thats for action, gore and a fun time at the cinema! I couldn’t of cared less that the story was a bit flaky and the acting was a bit amateur, that’s not what I go to see a movie like this for. I was well and truly immersed and whooping and cheering for ever bonkers scene that came after the previous one.
Another huge aspect of this film that I loved was the music. Adrenaline pumping beats and electronic synth mirrored the tone and the energy, and even in particularly funny scenes, the music added to the jovial moments that broke up the heart pounding action.
My biggest issue with this movie was that every action sequence was as thrilling and exciting as the last, so the whole thing peaked in action mid way through, thus leaving the end fight sequence feeling pretty flat and not as exciting as some of the other things we’d seen. And there was somewhat of a supernatural element that was never really explained, that stood out a bit to much in the midst of everything else. And besides from having to close my eyes and look away a few times when the shaky camera was getting a bit to much at the start, and struggling to take in everything in the frame at given times I can’t be overly critical with a movie like this.
Overall a great time at the cinema and for anyone looking for a kick back popcorn flick with plenty of action, and thinks they can cope with the first person aspect, I hight recommend!
Rating - 3.5/5