“I talk alot about wasted potential in movies. Too much, I think that’s an overused phrase (and sadly an all too common problem). I was ready to once again use that phrase to describe Hardcore Henry, but then I realized it wasn’t so much wasted potential as under-developed potential. As an action movie junkie (my daddy raised me right!), I was really excited to see this, ready for this new take on the genre. But I was left with all visual and no story, which equaled boredom. Sadness.
Hardcore Henry takes on a sort of video game first person shooter perspective as our titular character wakes up from some unknown grievious injury and little memory. He’s outfitted with some bionic limbs (or something) by his doctor wife (who he also doesn’t remember). And then there’s bad guys and lots and lots and lots of fighting as he struggles to find out who he is and exactly what the heck is going on.
The shiny new perspective, all shot on a GoPro, is pretty cool. And also doesn’t work as well as I’d have hoped. I don’t know if they sped things up or omitted frames or what was going on, but it was all very jerky and difficult to follow the action, plus the constant motion from side to side and up and down and all over the place. I can’t help but think this is what the original Blair Witch audience felt like. Had we just slowed things down a tad, I think the effect could have been something really awesome.
But the biggest disappointment really is the minimal storyline. The film relied on constant action, but without anything really driving it other than must-keep-moving and must-find-out-something, you can only sustain the momentum (and my interest) for so long. Plus confusing things like the very entertaining and quirky Sharlto Copley continuing to pop up and die and then show up again different and die and lather/rinse/repeat. I’m still not entirely sure what his deal was.
I kinda expected everything to tie back into some sort of video game theme, but it just sort of imploded on itself. I would like to see this sort of style attempted again, with a little more finesse. Wouldn’t it be cool if we had a Duke Nukem movie like this? Or Wolfenstein? Now that would be truly bad ass. This was more eh.
Hardcore Henry – \m/ \m/”