Director: Ilya Naishuller
Hardcore Henry was always going to be different. Shot entirely from Henry’s point of view it tells the tale of a man, Henry, brought back to life by his wife. His wife is then kidnapped by a crazed super powered bad guy who is set on using her expertise to create an army of super soldiers. With help from only one man, Jimmy, Henry has to kill the bad guy and rescue the girl. Sounds pretty simple, wouldn’t you say? Well, it is.
This won’t be a long review, it doesn’t need to be. The plot has been outlined and it sticks to it in a comprehensive manner and that’s satisfying. It does apply some sway from that as it progresses but it doesn’t try to be cleverer than it needs to be. That said; Jimmy, played manically by Sharlto Copley, is the real wild card here. You can’t rate Henry; he’s essentially the camera man. Jimmy pops up in various guises and appears to be killed several times. I won’t go into the details of how this transpires as that really would touch on spoiler territory. The guises Jimmy appears in basically mean Copley is playing a completely different character, each time, but with the same goal, to help Henry. Copley shines and embraces this will a full tempo performance, or may be that should read as performances. Danila Kozlovsky also revels in his role; he’s particularly maniacal as Akan who, for some reason, has super powers not dissimilar to a Jedi Knight. This is never really explained.
The film itself could be something of a Marmite movie. You’ll either love it or hate it, I don’t think there’s going to be many saying “yeah, it’s ok.” Or more precisely it’s hard to imagine anyone paying to see it without knowing it’s going to feel like being stuck in the video game Doom for ninety minutes. It’s bloody, loud and moves at a relentless pace, the movie’s action sequences are, at times, breathtaking and it really has a slice and dice mentality. Definitely not for the faint hearted and if you don’t like lost footage movies then this certainly isn’t for you.
Oh and Tim Roth appears also, briefly. Very briefly.
Think Crank meets Commando.
Rating 3.5/5 Stars