‘Hardcore Henry’ dulls with weak gimmick, listless violence

'Hardcore Henry' dulls with weak gimmick, listless violence

Fair use image from STX Entertainment

Riley Walberg, News Editor

There are many words that can be used to describe a movie. Some are positive words like enjoyable, suspenseful, and funny. Others are negative like disappointing, boring, and predictable. None of these can be used to accurately describe Hardcore Henry. What was meant to be a first-person science fiction/action movie quickly turned into an awkward version of watching someone else play a video game.

The problems start with the camera angle. While a unique and potentially great idea, the first-person perspective is poorly executed in sudden, jerky movements, making many of the action sequences incredibly hard to follow and comprehend. Fortunately, when things slow down (whether action-wise or literally with slow-motion) the first-person aspect becomes an interesting and unique way to look at the movie.

Once you get used to the semi-nauseating camera angle, you become aware of the over-the-top action sequences, some of which are just unsettling. From the Bond-like opening credits sequence of the protagonist (a man we only know as “Henry”) being savagely torn apart in the most creative of ways, to the brutal deaths of any and all henchmen in his path, to the strangling of someone with a particularly grotesque object, Hardcore Henry continually shocks and disturbs the viewer with intense, over-the-top violence.

What isn’t shocking is the story itself. Unmemorable, unsurprising, and uninteresting, Hardcore Henry‘s plot quickly becomes predictable, especially when you realize that you’re basically watching someone else play a video game. The more the story goes on, the more video-game-like it becomes, complete with waves and levels of enemies escalating in difficulty and even a final boss fight at the end.

At the end of the day, I cannot compare Hardcore Henry to any other movie I have ever seen. Its bizarre attempt at first person action makes it stand out from the crowd, but not in the good way. It’s insanely brutal and savagely violent scenes can make even the most staunch moviegoers look away, and it’s ending will leave you more confused than unsettled, which believe me, is saying something.


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