Have you seen the trailers for Hardcore Henry? The movie was in theaters for all of three weeks, which I guess is to be expected. But the idea of an action movie that was filmed entirely from the first person perspective was too revolutionary for me not to try and experience theater. Too bad the movie wasn't very good.
Henry is a cyborg who wakes up to a pretty lady telling him that she's his wife. Score one for Henry. But then a crazy telekinetic psycho shows up, and Henry (who, conveniently, hasn't had his voice box activated), goes on the run with his wife. When they get separated, Henry has to team up with Sharlto Copley's Jimmy in order to track her down and kill all the bad guys in his way.
The main fault of the film is that it is completely hollow. Henry is silent, because he's supposed to be us. We get to be an unstoppable killing machine. Unfortunately, the movie decided that was the only thing it cared about. There is a movie out there, with this plot, that will examine the ideas that this movie brings up, and then ignores. Such as -does an unstoppable killing machine have the right to be happy? Is he even human? Does he still have a conscience? Are clones real people? Is it okay to create clones for the express purpose of killing them off? What are the responsibilities of the government when it comes to fallen soldiers? This movie has all these questions at its very fingertips... yet never even examines a single one.
And you might ask me, "But how was the action, because that's all I came here for?" And I say, "It's okay." As you watch the movie, it's less about immersing yourself into the character, and more about watching a friend play a first person videogame incredibly well. It seems to cross off all the prerequisites for that sort of idea. There's a mission (rescue the wife). Henry is given a phone with a location that he has to get to. He has to fight long odds in order to get to the "boss." Sure, Henry has a lot of guns and grenades, but everyone he fights is so devoid of personality, that when bodies go flying, that's all they are, is just bodies.
Really, it's all just so pedestrian. And that's disappointing from a movie that had a pretty great hook. And even more surprising, because the movie really makes no sense. The bad guy's motivation? I still don't know what his plan was. Jimmy's reasons for helping out Henry? Yeah, I'm pretty foggy on that one, too.
I think what really sinks the film is a complete lack of humor. Copley does what he can as a sometimes object of amusement, but it's all just so forced. That may be the film's biggest fault, in that it's just not genuine.
My initial reaction after seeing the movie was to give it two stars. But as I write about it, and think about it it doesn't deserve them. So...