Movie: Hardcore Henry
My Rating: 3 stars
I thought this movie was really fun—mostly because I haven’t seen anything quite like it before. Sure, it’s cheesy. And yeah, the story is pretty simple. But, the whole point of this movie is to give the viewer the experience of being the protagonist in an exciting, first-person shooter, video game. And, the plots in video games are notoriously on rails and cheesy. So, this movie is actually completely spot on tonally. It has a beautiful wife that we’re trying to save. And, a criminally insane villain that always swoops in to ruin things right when we think we have the situation under control. And finally, a helper with unlimited resources who shows up, deus-ex-machina-style, to give us new weapons and skills as the story progresses. Pretty spot-on if you ask me.
Since the viewer is positioned as the protagonist in this story, we learn information at the same rate as “Henry” does. So, as we wake up on an operating table in a high-tech medical lab, we’re naturally pretty confused. But, the story starts slowly revealing itself, piece by piece. But, the story really isn’t what I liked most about this movie. The star of this film, really, is Sharlto Copley. Even though he’s in a supporting role, he definitely steals the show. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for him. Not entirely sure why. It can’t just be the accent. I think it has something to do with the crazy roles he manages to get himself thrown into. He always manages to bring a slightly deranged, wild-eyed vitality to his characters. I’ve always liked a bit of feral energy. And his character in this movie is about as untamed as they come. He fills in the role of the guide you sometimes see in the upper right-hand corner of video games, offering helpful tips, and steering the narrative.
This movie is fun, but that’s really all it is. I don’t think I’d go so far as to recommend it broadly. But, there are definitely a few subgroups that’d get a kick out of it. Fans of Sharlto Copley, will definitely want to catch this one. Or, people looking for a mindless, tongue-in-cheek, action movie. And, while I don’t really play those video games myself, I can imagine that fans of first-person shooters might get a kick out of seeing the genre gently mocked.