“Hardcore Henry” is a front-row type of film. It should be seen and experienced in a theater.
However, no matter where you sit or how you see it, you will still be Henry, or at least under the illusion that you’re him.
“Hardcore Henry” is the first of its kind: a film completely shot with a Go-Pro — dozens of the cameras, actually — making it filmed 100 percent from the protagonist’s point of view. So, if you would like to be dropped from a freeway overpass, want to know what it feels like to shoot at someone from the back of an incredibly fast-moving motorcycle or fall from a helicopter — all while eating popcorn and sipping a beer — this is the film for you.
First-time, full-length feature director/writer Ilya Naishuller makes the man-child id of senseless violence a pseudoreality, a kind of first-person, gaming- esque hyperviolent fantasy. But never fear, the film is not all smash-’em-up testosterone, adrenaline and bloodshed. Its viscera is comiclike camp.
Naishuller has a sense of humor through the fisticuffs and doesn’t take himself too seriously. Henry is a superhero whose voice activation has yet to be turned on. We become superheroes for around 90 minutes — and that is appealing.
Henry was once a man who is now a souped-up hyperathletic killing machine who can execute the most dexterous of Parkour moves and kick everyone’s butt creatively. You, or Henry, awaken, with absolutely no authentic memory, to your wife screwing your robotic leg back on in some type of laboratory when security is breached and the evil radioactive villain with gravitational radiation powers, Akan, comes to capture you and your wife.
The chase is on, and it truly does not stop until the credits roll. Good luck.