Hardcore Henry (2016) Movie Review

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Hardcore Henry: an FPS cinematic experience that sounds better on paper, but is translated just fine on screen


Hardcore Henry is unlike any other movie experience I have ever had. The first-person perspective to it is incredibly enjoyable and as a fan of the video game for many years, it really is like an hour and 36 minute campaign experience. I have no idea how they managed to pull off half of the shit I witnessed in this movie and oh man, this is a nice violent one. It managed to receive an R-rating in Canada and this rating is solely reserved for films that have graphic sex or nudity depicted, ie. Shame (2012) or Blue is the Warmest (2013), or extreme violence, as in Hardcore Henry‘s case. The usual MPAA R-rating is translated to either a 14A (Mad Max: Fury Road) or 18A (Deadpool) in Canada.

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In the words of Anakin Skywalker, “yippeeeeeeeee!”

The action was a constant throughout this movie and the special effects, besides one glaringly obvious moment where it turned into an actual PS2 game a la The Scorpion King’s appearance in The Mummy Returns (2001), were phenomenal. I would watch an entire full-length movie on how the production went during filming. I felt that characterization and character motives weren’t really fleshed out all that well which translated to a lot of “but huhwhat?” moments. The Hardcore universe is extremely absurd, and hilariously stupid at certain moments, so I understood that the filmmakers weren’t really going for realism but it would’ve been nice to have something more at its core besides the mustache-twirling-villain-keeping-the-hero’s-wife-away-from-him story. Not to go too tough on it, you can’t expect to feel emotionally overwhelmed by a (robot)balls-to-the-wall action movie… I mean you could but Henry didn’t really fit into that and that is well and good!
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In terms of the characters themselves, without delving into that spoiler territory, Sharlto Copley was a riot and a half. This movie would not be nearly enjoyable without that character. I’m still not convinced that Haley Bennett isn’t somehow related to Lea Seydoux but she gave a good performance as Estelle. The villain Danila Kozlovsky made me want to kill myself but he had Force powers which was cool to watch. The soundtrack was also incredible! One moment specifically involved Frank Sinatra… That’s all I will say about that.

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“Let’s not spare those horses”

If you’re looking for a spectacularly bloody action film mixed with sprinkles of science fiction and an intriguing gimmick, check out Hardcore Henry. 
It’s one of those movies I’m glad I watched, but I probably won’t ever feel the need to revisit again.
I also didn’t get dizzy or anything at all.. So that was my experience.


Hardcore Henry receives 3.5/5 Matt Damon heads.

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