HOLLYWOOD—I love a good action movie, but it’s a rare breed to see a movie that totally takes everything you’ve come to know about the dynamics of the action flick and deliver something that slightly blows your mind. Well, if you haven’t heard about “Hardcore Henry” this is indeed a movie that could change the way that we watch and see movies.
When I first heard about the idea for this flick I kinda of thought this was a joke. I mean a movie shot from the perspective of the title character. I mean horror flicks are notorious for utilizing the point of view perspective of the villain in some occasions, but NOT throughout the entire movie.
However, “Hardcore Henry” utilizes that technique from start to finish. Now, the audience never gets to see the face of our protagonist which sucks a bit in my opinion, because as a spectator we always want to put a face to the hero.
The movie opens with Henry being operated on by his wife Estelle (Haley Bennett) who is repairing some limbs that he lost after an accident. During his recovery, the lab is attacked by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky), a telekinetic villain who is an equal adversary to our protagonist.
He kidnaps Estelle, and it becomes a race for Henry to rescue her before it’s too late. Along for the ride is Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), who appears on multiple occasions throughout the movie in various versions that might leave viewers a bit lost if they don’t keep up with the narrative.
In case I forgot to mention, this flick does revolve around a science fiction element that will keep the viewers intrigued. “Hardcore Henry” does not have a narrative that is going to blow the viewer’s mind, it is the typical action-hero revenge flick. However, the camera work from director, writer and producer Ilya Naishuller will leave cinema lovers glued to the theater seat.
I will admit the POV camera work leaves you nauseous at times in my opinion. If you’re not one familiar with playing those POV shooter video games it will take a bit of time to get used to the tropes the movie utilizes. I mean I had to take a few moments to just slightly turn away from the computer to prevent my visual clarity from being corrupted.
I mean watching a movie of this nature for a few minutes doesn’t hurt, but when you’re talking about 90 minutes, that consistency is not normal. Would I take a child to see such a movie, not really, they wouldn’t get or appreciate precisely what “Hardcore Henry” is aiming to do.
However, when it comes to action, the movie absolutely delivers when it comes to gunfire, explosions, epic fight battles and chase scenes to say the least. “Hardcore Henry” is a load of fun from start to finish, could I see Hollywood possibly utilizing this camera technique in the near future, yes, but to make it even more effective the face of the protagonist needs to be seen at some point, to simply shake off that relentless POV perspective.