Hardcore Henry

Hardcore Henry ★★★★

The premise is marvelous, if only for the fact that it allowed for so many over the top action set pieces and sequences. I think it's a bit unfair to criticize an action film for not having any deep narrative themes, but Hardcore Henry actually does a wonderful job of stripping the story to its bare essentials, and yet subverted the narrative with its maudlin twist ending. I have more thoughts about how Hardcore Henry is a subversion of action film tropes, and even deconstruction of action films by virtue of its first person perspective, but perhaps that will come later.

Now, I want to take a moment to praise the acting skill of Sharlto Copley, who plays the scientist Jimmy, and all the cloned permutations of Jimmy. He is an absolute delight, and is responsible for guiding Henry on his adventure, and supplying the viewer with exposition. Arguably he's essential for the mechanics of this film, and I doubt I would have enjoyed this film nearly as much if it wasn't for his acting talent. His WWII soldier version of Jimmy was so charming and endearing, and yet so comical by its historical juxtaposition...his outdated phrases and anachronisms so fitting in the moment. Copley slides into each persona with such ease, it makes immersion into this film that much more convincing.

Hardcore Henry also makes me wonder about the future of film. Are VR experiences going to be the norm? Where we have total and complete immersion in our cinematic world? Or are they going to resemble video games, where we choose the outcomes? I'm apprehensively anticipating this future where all our media blurs into a multiplicity of interrelated forms and our technology allows for even deeper, realistic immersion.

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