When my boys were young, they would play video games and ask me to sit and watch them. This was so totally boring, I could not honor the request for long. So when HARDCORE HENRY was released, I really did not want to sit through the ordeal. My son Gabriel, who is an avid gamer in his spare time, offered to cover the film for me. He captured the movie in a manner better than his dad. So, please welcome to the blog, my guest reviewer and son, Gabriel Mastracci.
Film Review by Gabriel Mastracci
HARDCORE HENRY, while fun as a film, would be much better served as a video game. In a 6-8 hour campaign, you could develop the antagonist more and show where he gets his superpowers. This is something that is never explained in the film and serves as a huge unforgivable plot hole in spite of the movie’s ridiculous nature. Thankfully the film comes in at a 1hr 35min run time, which is perfect because the point of view camera, especially when Editor Steve Mircovich opts to commit the mortal sin of all editing and incorporate jump cuts,can be disorienting. Even for an experienced gamer, like me, it makes the movie jarring and hurts the brain.
Our protagonist, Henry is a cyborg whose systems are constantly glitching out. When this happens, the screen fades to black for brief moments. These would have been better as transitions and made more sense than the jump cuts. In addition, Henry's vocal cords are busted, so throughout the whole movie the main character never says a thing. His emotions are seen through flashbacks and hand gestures, which is pretty slick.
Acting is hard to comment on in this film, as there are really only two people carrying the story; Jimmy played by Sharlto Copley and Akon played by Danila Kozlovsky. Copley does well in his many roles in the film, particularly towards the conclusion. However, as the antagonist, Kozlovsky’s performance comes across a little flat. Part of the problem here is Screenwriter Ilya Naishuller provides very little background for this character.
KEY SCENES TO LOOK FOR:
1. The Floor 14 Stealth Mission
2. The Escape from Jimmy’s Lab
All in all, if you are unsure of the POV nature of the film, and you don't know if you'll become motion sick, this is yet another movie in a seemingly endless stream, to wait for on Netflix. It doesn't need the big screen to be enjoyed and if you feel a headache or motion sickness coming on, you can always pause and come back later. Best not to waste money on something you might walk out on.
THE GRADE FOR HARDCORE HENRY = C