Runtime: 1 hours 36 minutes
Budget: Estimated to be $250 thousand
Hardcore Henry was a movie funded on Indiegogo and bought by STX Entertainment, a fledgling studio, for $10 million. The over-the-top action sci-fi was filmed mostly on a GoPro camera. While the whole first person thing might be a gimmick, they certainly don’t survive over it. It was shot and set in Russia, starring a South African actor (Sharlto Copley) and off an extremely modest budget, just to make sure you knew this isn’t your average film.
As you may have guessed, the plot lacks substance. Basically, Henry seeks to kill the main antagonist, Akan. The film is more akin to The Raid: Redemption than Spotlight. Much like many of the video games that the movie pays homage to, the main character doesn’t even speak. Most of the exposition comes humorously through Jimmy.
The jokes in the movie probably save it from being a one-trick pony—kinda like my blog. The gags pervade every aspect of the film, down to how they display some of the subtitles. Stuff like that is where the true value of the movie lies.
Like you would expect, Hardcore Henry puts the gore on full blast. It could be awkward watch with your parents. If you’re a parent, don’t bring your kids. Send them to watch casual Henry instead. Or royal Henry on BBC, or a documentary of racist Henry building some Model Ts.
On top of the violence warning there needs to be a nausea warning. Watching things in first person tends to make a bountiful number of people sick. To avoid a bountiful amount of vomit coating the theater floors, you should all consider this in advance. I found it completely bearable, but the two others in my party had some trouble. The filmmakers went to great lengths to minimize it as much as possible.
The movie really made me appreciate my nervous system and the immense amount of sensory input that it gives my brain. I had no idea what was going on around Henry for some moments. It really goes to show how much our senses do to give us a bearing of the world.
And because I must, I will close with one final pun: Henry must’ve been wearing one hardcore henley to not get ruined after everything he went through.