Hardcore Henry Review


Andrew Cathey, Writer


Described as “…  one of the most unflinchingly original wild-rides to hit the big screen in a long time…” Hardcore Henry is the beginning of a brand new genre of film for the big screen, Point of View. released on April 8th, 2016 to mixed reviews with a 51 on Metacritic, a 7.2 on IMDb, and a 52% on Rotten Tomatoes, the movie focuses on Henry who has been brought back to the world of the living by their wife Estelle, but soon after Henry awakes the lab is attacked by a terror group and said group kidnaps Estelle. It’s up to Henry to save his wife and stop this group’s nefarious plans.

Hardcore Henry is unique in that it is the first movie to ever be filmed in entirely first person. This was achieved by using a GoPro camera attached to a helmet. This makes Henry completely faceless and on IMDb Henry doesn’t have an actor who portrays him. This means you and every other audience member is the star, the hero, and more importantly, Henry. This is YOUR movie, and that as a concept is amazing. The only potential problem is how this risky idea is executed. Both the director and writer, Ilya Naishuller made his big screen debut with this groundbreaking movie. His only other directing credit is a music video that was also filmed in a first-person POV.

The story, in my opinion, is fairly weak. The villain, Akan, lacks development and the same goes for Estelle. But this isn’t to say that the movie is necessarily bad. The only character that gets any form of development is Jimmy, who is one of the best parts of the movie. He’s the highlight of the film. He provides a majority, if not all, of the comedic scenes in the film, but the story is what may make or break Hardcore Henry’s chance at success.

Arguably one of the most important details is that the movie is thrilling to watch. Half the time I was left wondering just how a majority of the action sequences were filmed. Once Hardcore Henry gets started, it never stops, and that’s probably for the best because when there are occasional slow moments, they are an absolute bore and completely rip you out of the scene. My friend Nik, who saw the movie with me, when asked about his experience with the film said, “I could probably watch it again. It wouldn’t lose its effect as storytelling wasn’t its focus.”. Griffin Hall, a junior, had also said, “It was a lot better than I expected it to be.”.

The experience of Hardcore Henry relies mainly on the audience member’s expectations. If the audience member is expecting to be challenged or asked any profound questions then this probably isn’t the movie for them, but if they want a fun and insane action film that’s going at a breakneck pace then Hardcore Henry may be the film to see.