Directed by Ilya Naishuller
Henry, a newly resurrected cyborg who must save his wife/creator from the clutches of a psychotic tyrant with telekinetic powers, AKAN, and his army of mercenaries. Fighting alongside Henry is Jimmy, who is Henry's only hope to make it through the day. Hardcore takes place over the course of one day, in Moscow, Russia.
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★★★★ review by Gazelle Garcia on Letterboxd
This is a game of equal action and cut scenes turned into a feature, not a realistic first person narrative. That means it's got tons of jump cuts and is structured like a classic game rather than being edited like a movie. This is purposeful, consistent, and a whole lot of fun! This movie is perfect for those of you who go on YouTube after you finish a game just so you can watch all the narrative scenes of the story again. Hardcore Henry pokes at a lot at tropes and trends you'll recognize even if you're a novice gamer. Its over the top and exaggerated acting and action are on the nose. The big baddy doesn't make much of an impression but gets better later on, sadly his accent doesn't become any easier to understand.
★★★★ review by YI JIAN on Letterboxd
Some see this as an insult to cinema, some see this as a clever merging of mediums. For me though, it's totally legit. If you hate the gimmick already the movie does nothing to change your mind, in fact it will only reinforce your opinion. Hardcore Henry is a literal adrenaline injection, it's hilarious, dizzying, and fun as hell, does first person pew pew pews better than a video game ever could. The camera movement is all over the place but the magical thing is: you can always tell what's going on. The musical cues are flawlessly on point and Sharlto Copley is a tremendous joy to watch, both adds a new layer of entertainment onto this splatterfest.
It's a big, messy pile of trash that I wholeheartedly approve.
★★★★★ review by Alex_L on Letterboxd
All right, Henry. I'm usually pretty stingy about giving out perfect scores willy nilly and while I'll probably regret it later I'll make an exception just for you. Just know that if I ever see a film like this again I'll probably have to kill myself.
On the Waterfront
Lawrence of Arabia
There Will Be Blood
★★★★ review by Helen_S on Letterboxd
Well that was pretty exciting with some really fun characters. It wasn't anything like I was expecting at all and really gave me a nostalgia for the old computer games I use to play walking around creepy buildings with hand out in front. I loved the music and was cracking up during the Don't Stop Me Now part. The time just flew by!
★★★½ review by Austin Gorski on Letterboxd
So much fun. It's like a first-person Crank with awesome world building, not unlike what we saw in John Wick a few years back. The story isn't anything special (not that I expected it to be), but Sharlto Copley is almost as entertaining as the show-stopping action scenes which is not what I expected in the least.
An exhausting, but extremely entertaining experiment that, in my opinion, totally worked.
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