Hardcore Henry (18)
Dir. Ilya Naishuller
Reviewed by Matt Adcock (@Cleric20)
Read the newspaper version of this review: The Gazette
“Fight back! You're capable of more than you think.”
So you wake up in a high tech lab, with no memory, seemingly resurrected from the dead and given cybernetic ‘Robocop’ like limbs … You’re greeted by a beautiful blonde who introduces herself as ‘Estelle’ (Haley ‘The Equalizer’ Bennett), who says she is your wife. Before you can fully comprehend what is going on, or even get your voice module connected, the lab is stormed by a maniac named Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) who has psychic powers and leads an army of heavily armed mercenaries.
"The road wars"
Akan kidnaps Estelle and leaves Henry for dead (again) and thus the scene is set for a what is probably the most violent cinematic action adventure of all time…
Can super-soldier Henry overcome insane odds, rescue Estelle and find out the truth about who he really is? It’s great fun finding out as long as you have the stomach for seriously gory death and destruction – all presented from a unique first person viewpoint. The ‘witnessing the plot entirely from Henry’s viewpoint’ might make some unsettled due to the vertigo inducing kinetic action but it creates a film that feels very much like a big screen mix of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty – with a huge body-count.
"Your wife - worthy of rescuing by any means necessary"
Hardcore Henry is the most insane carnage-em-up to grace the screen since The Raid. Director Ilya Naishuller is obviously a fan of over the top action and he packs the film with every sort of death imaginable. It feels at times like a homage to the cheesy violent action of Arnie’s ‘80s movies like Commando, it even packs a good deal of darkly comic one liners.
Henry’s only ally in his quest is a mysterious agent named Jimmy (Sharlto ‘District 9’ Copley) who seems to have the ability to jump for body to body. Jimmy is a great sidekick, with his British soldier body / personality the pick of the bunch – dropping lines that are equally offensive and funny – certainly got the biggest reaction from the crowd I caught this with. So strap in for a totally insane blast of bad taste violence, swearing and hyperactive eyeball straining action.
"Baddies with low life expectancy!"
Hardcore Henry certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, in fact there are reports of many people walking out of screenings in the U.S. but as long as you know what you’re getting in to this like a turbo charged shot of pure adrenalin to the heart. Enter at your own risk!
Out of a potential 5 you have to go with a Darkmatters:
(4 - Mad, bad and dangerous all over)
Awesomeness öööö – Insane adrenalin pumpung action scenes
Laughs ööö – Laughing out loud at the sheer wrongness
Horror öööö – Very brutal violence - gory and in-your-face
Spiritual Enlightenment -ö - Violence in and of itself