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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Excessive violence powers the POV film “Hardcore Henry” through lackluster plot

    Promotional+poster+for+Hardcore+Henry+released+to+theatres+April+8.+The+POV+action+flick+relies+heavily+on+violence+to+distract+from+its+lackluster+plot.
    STX Entertainment

    Promotional poster for Hardcore Henry released to theatres April 8. The POV action flick relies heavily on violence to distract from its lackluster plot.

    Most standard action movies end up following a similar routine: A hero finds him or herself in a life-threatening situation where he or she must rely on confrontation to face their enemies. “Hardcore Henry” approaches the action film genre from a different angle.

    Designed to represent a first-person action movie from the eyes of the protagonist, “Hardcore Henry” relies on explicit, nonstop violence to showcase a movie without a carefully designed plot.

    Henry wakes up inside a laboratory where a scientist named Estelle (Haley Bennett) has replaced Henry’s missing limbs with cybernetic ones. With no memory or knowledge of his former self, Estelle tells Henry she is his wife and that he has amnesia as a result of a terrible accident. Just as Henry starts to familiarize himself with his surroundings, a group of mercenaries, led by Akan (Danila Kozlovsky), infiltrates the area, prompting Henry and Estelle to escape

    Unfortunately for these two, more mercenaries arrive to abduct Estelle. Henry finds an unlikely ally in Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), who continually appears as various cloned versions of himself. From here on out, the film embarks on a journey of nonstop violence where excessiveness becomes a laughable term and carnage becomes a top priority.

    Unlike modern PG-13 action films, the R-rated “Hardcore Henry” does not shy away from excessive exposure to blood and mayhem. The way the film glorifies blood and carnage makes it unique to some extent as it attempts to entertain its audience through vicious and brutal confrontations. Case in point: Jimmy informs Henry that he must locate an associate of Akan and rip his heart out in order to use it as a charger.

    Unfortunately, it’s the film’s excessive dependence on hardcore violence that diminishes the movie. “Hardcore Henry” fails to incorporate a compelling storyline in which the audience fully understands the backstory.

    The one thing that keeps this film from becoming a disappointing showing is Jimmy’s character. Coming off as highly energetic with a thirst for engagement, Jimmy captures the attention of the audience with his multiple clones, each one displaying a different characteristic. For instance, there is Coke Jimmy (a cocaine addict) as well as Vest Jimmy (an awkward scientist).

    In the end, Henry teams up with his ally to take down Akan once and for all. The climactic scene at Akan’s headquarters provides an intense confrontation.

    Overall, “Hardcore Henry” appeals to those who desire nothing more than a movie that glorifies carnage with no real storyline to depend on.

    C-


    Follow Ernesto Fierro on Twitter.


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