Thursday, 14 April 2016

Hardcore Henry (2016)

Formerly dead but now alive and minus memories, Henry (the silent protagonist) goes on a killing spree to stop some guy from creating a legion of super soldiers while also rescuing his wife.

'Hardcore Henry' proudly goes about beating its chest that it is entirely in first-person. Or maybe it just does that because that is the closest thing that comes to a selling point considering how the film offers up nothing of substance in any regard. At the end of the day, though, it's practically on par with a found footage film (Henry has the most unfocused eyes in the world).

As this is very much a video game inspired film, it's hard not to automatically think of that scene from that 'Doom' film:
Unfortunately, that FPS-style scene (from a pretty dire film) is better than anything 'Hardcore Henry' shares. As I said, it might as well call itself a found footage film based on how it looks.

When I first heard about this, I was hoping that it would turn out to be some kind of 'Mirror's Edge' with first-person free-running between tall skyscrapers with a Solar Fields score (or such - just done in a way that doesn't feel like you're watching someone playing it):
Sadly, what I got was some generic, forgettable stumble through bland environments with one-dimensional characters and a silly plot. So, basically, it's adapted the wrong kind of FPS that would have been outdated 20 years ago and doesn't seem to be aware that many video games have progressed rapidly in terms of story, characters, design, and so on.

It's not particularly interesting watching a faceless guy's arms clearing out successive rooms full of opponents, especially when these scenes have no form or style to them. It's just a loud, unfocused bloodbath with gore for gore's sake (as established by the opening credits). I suppose if this were a game and the viewer was controlling it, then it would be different because the purpose would be for the player to overcome the challenge presented to them which, naturally, would escalate and increase in difficulty with each level. But just watching it is a struggle and the film really had to have some proper substance to make it seem even remotely compelling. I suppose it does have a tongue-in-cheek attitude that leads to a couple of amusing kills, but I spent the entire film feeling incredibly bored.

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