Review: Carnage and comedy in film that’s not for everyone

First-person action film Harcore Henry

First-person action film Harcore Henry

Matt Adcock reviews Hardcore Henry (18)

So you wake up in a high tech lab, with no memory, seemingly resurrected from the dead and given cybernetic ‘Robocop’ like limbs. You’re greeted by a beautiful blonde woman who introduces herself as ‘Estelle’ (Haley ‘The Equalizer’ Bennett), who says she is your wife. Before you can fully comprehend what is going on, or even get your voice module connected, the lab is stormed by a maniac named Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) who has psychic powers and leads an army of heavily armed mercenaries.

Akan kidnaps Estelle and leaves Henry for dead (again) and thus the scene is set for a what is probably the most violent cinematic action adventure of all time.

Can super-soldier Henry overcome insane odds, rescue Estelle and find out the truth about who he really is?

It’s great fun finding out as long as you have the stomach for seriously gory death and destruction – all presented from a unique first-person viewpoint. Witnessing the plot entirely from Henry’s viewpoint’ might make some unsettled due to the vertigo -inducing kinetic action but it creates a film that feels very much like a big screen mix of Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty – with a huge body-count.

Hardcore Henry is the most insane carnage-em-up to grace the screen since The Raid. Director Ilya Naishuller is obviously a fan of over-the-top action and he packs the film with every sort of death imaginable. It feels at times like a homage to the cheesy violent action of Arnie’s 80s movies like Commando, it even packs a good deal of darkly comic one liners.

Henry’s only ally in his quest is a mysterious agent named Jimmy (Sharlto ‘District 9’ Copley) who seems to have the ability to jump from body to body. Jimmy is a great sidekick, with his British soldier body/personality the pick of the bunch.

Dropping lines that are equally offensive and funny certainly got the biggest reaction from the crowd I caught this with. So strap in for a totally insane blast of bad taste violence, swearing and hyperactive eyeball-straining action.

Hardcore Henry certainly won’t be everyone’s cup of tea – in fact there are reports of many people walking out of screenings in the US – but as long as you know what you’re getting in to, this is like a turbo-charged shot of pure adrenalin to the heart. Enter at your own risk!

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