Hardcore Henry (2015) (Blu-ray Review)
Directed By: Ilya Naishuller
Starring: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett
Rated: UR/Region A/1:85/1080p/Number of Discs 1
Available from Universal Studios
You remember nothing. Mainly because you’ve just been brought back from the dead by your wife who tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go get her back. You’re also in an unfamiliar city of Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. If you can survive the insanity and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity.
We seem to have a bit of a debate over first person movies and which movie was actually the first. Hotel Inferno came before Hardcore Henry but I think we could say Hardcore Henry is more action than horror so maybe it’s a bit like apples and oranges? If you want to go horror you could make a case for the remake of Maniac but that’s neither here nor there as we are here today talking about the spectacle that is the action-packed first-person thrill ride known as Hardcore Henry. It may very well be the intent of the director but this is a movie that very much feels and plays out like a first-person shooter video game. We often only see arms holding weapons from our point of view outside of seeing what Henry is seeing. It plays off the game thing and also gives life to the found footage style in many ways. However, this style of filmmaking also works to make you yourself feel like you are Henry and part of the movie. First person shaky cam aside, that is pretty dang cool and only helps to keep you watching and hyped while seeing something like Hardcore Henry. Not that the movie ever really gives you time to get bored anyway. It feels we are seeing someone gets killed or something blowing up nearly ever single minute in the film. Henry falls from the sky, is on the run from bad guys, charging after bad guys, or on top of moving trucks to just name a few things in this movie. If you are here for a fast pace and tons of action for the sake of action with violence for the sake of violence, then you’ve picked the right movie with Hardcore Henry. It isn’t something you see every day and it even can keep horror gore hounds happy with the amount of blood and guts even without really being a horror movie.
While you could go on and on for days about the brutality and action you see in a movie like this, it actually does pack a very cool and a bit complicated plot. The movie rarely ever slows down but the info is learned along the way and when you reach the big climax of the movie (one I’m sure everyone who sees it will be talking about) you even get a bit of a big twist on things. I get the feeling the reaction this movie has gotten and the other handful of movies out there with the same style is getting that we might get a bit of an onslaught of first-person movies coming our way. If that is the case we must not forget that Hardcore Henry is a front runner to this style and like Blair Witch with the found footage films, it might not be the first but could easily be the best. It isn’t just a gimmick, though. We care about Henry, we care about other characters, and it even gives us a bad guy you want to reach through the screen and try to kill ourselves. This is a fun movie and a very well done movie. We even get a bit of cameo by Tim Roth and see some great stuff out of one actor who does something pretty cool in this movie I don’t want to spoil. From start to finish Hardcore Henry is a near perfect action movie. The only downside could be some of the shaky camera moments. I suggest fans of action and blood to rush out and see this one as soon as you can.
– Digital Copy of Hardcore Henry (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
– Includes UltraViolet (Subject to expiration. Go to NBCUCodes.com for details.)
– Deleted Scenes
– Fan Chat
– Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Ilya Naishuller
– Feature Commentary with Director/Producer Ilya Naishuller and Star/Executive Producer Sharlto Copley
Quality of Transfer: 98%