I was immediately intrigued when I saw the first trailer for "Hardcore Henry", as the first-person gimmick looked interesting, and the film as a whole just seemed like a lot of fun. Going in, I had heard that this was a love-it-or-hate-it film. I fell into the "love it" category, while the person I was with fell into the "hate it category".
The first-person gimmick was as cool as I expected. It isn't completely original: there are fight sequences in other films, such as "The Brothers Grimsby", that use first-person cinematography. Still, the fact that the whole movie was made that way was extremely interesting, and at times, I felt that it brought me a bit deeper into the film. There are ways that the film could have better justified the gimmick, but it was pretty cool regardless.
One major criticism that many people hold about this film is a lack of plot. I disagree with the fact that it doesn't have a plot, but rather that the plot is relatively unoriginal. The plot of the film is pretty much "save the damsel-in-distress", but with a few additions. The thing is, even though the plot was formulaic, it is also compelling. Audiences in general root for heroes of formulaic action movies, and this film is no exception. I expected that there would be a big plot twist in the end, and there was one, but the plot twist was not what I expected it to be. There is one thing in the film that made absolutely no sense (this isn't really a spoiler, because it is shown within the first 5 minutes of the film): the antagonist was telekinetic. I kept hoping that the film would explain this, but it didn't.
The film also has some really good things about it too. Sharlto Copley was probably the best part of the film as Jimmy. He brought a lot of humor into the film and was one of the biggest driving forces in the film. He provides some of the funniest scenes in the movie. The dark humor in the film is fantastic. Jimmy's song-and-dance number is hilarious. I also loved some of the movie homages in the film, such as a scene involving famous movie voices and a scene involving the theme song for "The Magnificent Seven".
So, "Hardocre Henry" is definitely not for everyone. With its shaky cam and over-the-top bloody violence, not everyone is going to enjoy it. Those who enjoy action films, like me, it really satisfies.
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Probably.
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I look at films as if through old red and blue 3D glasses— one lens is as art, one lens is as entertainment.
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