Hard Core Henry – movie review by Gregory F. Farrell

We do not really want  give Hard Core Henry the compliment of calling it a movie. It is basically 96 minutes of watching someone else play a video game. Anyone who has ever been the passive viewer of a video game knows that gets very boring very fast. What makes actual video games exciting is that you get to control the character and your skill determines whether or not the character succeeds or dies.

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The plot is much the same as many video games. The title character (Henry) wakes up in a strange laboratory  with no memory of who he is. A beautiful young woman tells him he has been in an accident and he has been repaired with many robotic parts that give him almost super-human powers. The lab is then broken into by an strange looking bad guy who tries to kill Henry and the beautiful woman (Estelle).

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The entire rest of the movie goes into full video game mode. The bad guy captures Estelle, and Henry spends the rest of the film searching for her and killing attackers by the hundreds.

One of the most annoying aspects of the movie is that it is all filmed with a hand-held camera using the first person view.  During the chase scenes the film is so shaky that for many long periods the audience cannot even clearly see what is happening.

It is hard to tell who this movie’s target audience is. Most adults will just find it stupid. Kids should not go to this movie. It has extreme bloody violence, and a very long scene takes place in a whore house with many naked prostitutes. (Most of them also get killed)

The frustrating part is that the actors do an excellent job with the material they were given. Haley Bennett is the beautiful damsel in distress who any man would be willing to risk his life to rescue. Sharlto Copley plays Jimmy, a character who, like in video games, comes magically back to life each time he is killed. Danila Kozlousky is the bizarre bad guy.

But in the final analysis, it would be a lot more fun to play a video game based on Hard Core Henry than to actually watch the movie.

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