BADass SINema Unearthed - Blu-ray Review
- Published Date
- by Loron Hays
Now, THIS shit is bananas. While I’m sure Gwen Stefani did not have Hardcore Henry – or anything like it – in mind when she penned the lyrics to her song, the chorus fits in describing almost EVERY element of the action flick. Produced by Wanted’s Timur Bekmambetov, Hardcore Henry is completely gonzo with all guns blazing at the screen and I love, love, love it and, while it was just released, have no problem classifying this new release as a cult film. It’s going to get a helluva following.
Embracing hyperactive adrenalized films like Crank and its sequel, Hardcore Henry is the answer to a dull Friday night. It is completely off its rocker with its first-person shooter style lens as the hero of the film almost falls out of a plane, gets blasted into the air by a tank, flips off a truck and lands on a motorcycle, and beyond. You imagine it and Hardcore Henry does it.
It is highly probable that the only actor – outside of a brief cameo from Tim Roth – you will recognize in the film is South African actor, producer and director Sharlto Copley of District 9 and Chappie and The A-Team fame. And for good reason. He plays Jimmy and Jimmy keeps dying, only to reappear later with a totally different attitude. Same name, different look. It’s a pretty funny element of the movie which is explained at a later time in the movie. But you don’t care about the humor, you want blood and guts and insane action moments; all of which Hardcore Henry delivers in spades. Who would’ve thought head-mounted GoPro cameras could be this effective at telling a story AND capturing the action.
Our main point of view throughout the film is from Henry. Played by Ilya Naishuller, who also directed the movie, Henry wakes up in a secret Moscow lab. He watches as his self-identifying wife, Estelle (Haley Bennet), screws in a robot hand and leg where once his limbs were. He is just beginning to understand what he can do – crush an apple with a squeeze of the hand - when emergency lights kick on in the lab and his training is interrupted.
And then all hell breaks loose. Explosions rock the lab and machine guns are firing every which way. Turns out that a telepathic lunatic, played by Danila Kozlovsky, wants to take over the world with a robot army like Henry. It is then up to Henry and Jimmy, who is seemingly incapable of dying, to stop him. If only they could catch their collective breath…
With a breakneck speed, Hardcore Henry literally hits the ground running. The madness is intense and comes across in rapid-fire ingenuity. You might get dizzy. You might laugh a minute or two after you are supposed to. If you haven’t played a first-person shooter game in a while, well, this probably isn’t the flick for you. It’s all ridiculous fun, though.
Filmed across parts of Moscow, Hardcore Henry makes no apologies for its extreme action and its violence…which is maybe not as extreme as it could have been. If you can survive the slow-motion scroll of the opening credits sequence, as one dude gets mercilessly pummeled and repeatedly stabbed by an invisible enemy, your stomach can handle it.
The bottom line is that Hardcore Henry will bring a smile to every gamer’s face. And in a movie where YOU are the star, this is a very big deal.
MPAA Rating: R for non-stop bloody brutal violence and mayhem, language throughout, sexual content/nudity and drug use
Runtime: 96 mins
Director: Ilya Naishuller
Writer: Ilya Naishuller
Cast: Sharlto Copley, Tim Roth, Haley Bennett
Genre: Action | Sci-fi | Fantasy
Tagline: First they made him dangerous. Then they made him mad.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Like my father always said, a grenade a day keeps the enemy at bay."
Distributor: STX Entertainment
Official Site: http://stxmovies.com/hardcorehenry/
Release Date: March 213, 2016
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: July 26, 2016
Synopsis: A first-person action film from the eyes of Henry, who's resurrected from death with no memory. He must discover his identity and save his wife from a warlord with a plan to bio-engineer soldiers.
Available on Blu-ray - July 26, 2016
Screen Formats: 1.85:1
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0
Discs: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1
Region Encoding: A
The film was shot via GoPro so there is a limit to some of the polish and sheen the 1080p transfer can bring to it. Universal does the POV justice with their transfer but the color depth usually present in HD just isn’t there. Neither is the depth. Black levels; however, are strong. As previously noted, alongside the lack of vibrant colors, there is also a lack of texture to some of the details. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 lossless soundtrack is kickass, though, and consistently delivers a booming experience.
- Director Ilya Naishuller goes solo with the first commentary. He explains the opening and the credits sequence and specifies how it was pulled off. Throughout the commentary, he explains the origins of the movie, its effects, and what went into some of the stunts and slow motion opening that kicks off the insanity. The second commentary features him again and Star/Executive Producer Sharlto Copley go over a lot of the same information in the second one but with a bit more humor.
Questions from the fans are answered in one of the supplemental items. It’s a fun piece that shows off Naishuller and Copley’s comedic chops. There is also a collection of deleted scenes. A voucher for a UV/iTunes digital copy rounds out the package.
- Fan Chat (12 min)
- Deleted Scenes (9 min)