There comes a time when a man chooses a movie out of pure randomness. I happened upon this movie and chose to watch it merely because of the poster. The flaws in that method were reminded to me much sooner than I’d expected.

Hardcore Henry (2015)

Henry is a classic action hero who has been surgically enhanced to grant him robotic limbs. His supposed wife is abducted by a psycho with psychic abilities and Henry must save her and kill him. On his way to save her he meets Jimmy who has a very advanced and futuristic form of multiple personality disorder enabled through what looks like some machinery that lets him control various bodies for different needs. These also allow Jimmy to die in tight situations while saving Henry in the process.

The movie attempts to differentiate itself from other damsel in distress plots by shooting everything from the perspective of the hero i.e. Henry. The novel angle is well, novel in the beginning because most people aren’t used to seeing everything from a first person view. The effect wears off quite soon and I expect most people will be thoroughly nauseated about halfway into the film.

Obviously the movie wants you to look and feel everything from the perspective of Henry. It fails to take into consideration that for the audience to relate to Henry, they really be able to see their character’s reactions, emotions or what’s commonly known as ‘acting’. Instead all we see are guns, soon to be dead people shooting futilely in your direction, cars flipping over in well timed set pieces. This only leaves the viewer with a dizzy headache and not much more.

The whole plot goes almost as well as it can, but to add insult to injury a most mundane twist is tacked on at the end. The damsel turns out to be ‘involved’ with the psychotic psychic villain and has been baiting Henry all along. In a firework filled finale, Henry kills everybody and ends the movie once and for all.

Generally, I am all for experiments in film-making and was tempted to qualify this as one. But it end up becoming a gimmick pretty soon. The science fiction setting does little to keep the story interesting. In fact, the whole movie/plot would’ve worked much better as first person shooter video game instead of a movie. In the end I got so tired of not being able to actually control my video game character, I simply fast forwarded through the boss fight.

There are a couple parts that made me smirk like where Henry survives one of the many car crashes and is in need of more disposable transportation. He conveniently finds a horse grazing wherever and the viewer is tempted to think that this is going to become a wild west fest. Instead he fails terribly at mounting the equus and resorts to walk the rest of the way. I guess it is meant to convey that the movie is not to be taken seriously.

While watching other people play a video game may work really well for a streaming service like twitch because of the constant uncertainty in multiplayer games, it clearly doesn’t work well for a movie as badly written as this clusterbomb of a nightmare.

Oh and by the way Henry doesn’t speak at all. Not a single word in the movie. :-/

Rating: ★★☆☆☆ (Bad)