You know all those video games where you don't see your character, just that character's hands and whatever he's holding? This is that type of movie; a first-person shooter of a film. You are a man named Henry who has full amnesia, except for the faint memory of some toy that got smashed against a wall after being thrown by some little kid. You wake up in a lab next to a girl named Estelle who says she's your wife, and that you were in a major accident. Then some unknown military busts into the lab that is after you and you and Estelle escape on a pod before your voice could be implemented, and she is abducted by the military leader, Aken. Your only support is someone named Jimmy who gives you some trackers on your phone and the owner of some company named Dimitri. Make sure to get Estelle back in time, all the while avoiding the malicious army!
The most original film of the year? I think it's going to be this one even if there's a modern day movie that comes out this year about an indigo unicorn who ate dog teeth. Hardcore Henry is revolutionary in its decision to never back away from being seen through one man's eyes exactly, and what drove me straight to the film almost immediately was the adorable Haily Bennett who plays Estelle, the mysterious gizmo you see smashed as your only clue, giving you something to hang on as you, I mean the camera, hurtles around, and then what capsulated me is when you are chased out of the lab, followed by Estelle underneath the floor in a secret passageway. With only one camera to see everything, when you go under the tunnel, you actually think about what could be behind you, if they actually see you going through that board. Not a lot of films can give action scenes that send the chills this movie gives. And the shaky cam is admirable, a little nauseating but the filmmakers keep it that way to really show the audience the eyesight and view of an amnesia man. Aken is also an intimidating and bizarre antagonist that doesn't sit in a chair till the final battle but participates. And one of the only side characters actually really made me laugh and sits in a Charles Xavier-esque wheelchair, who uses a special ability to make those laughs. And the action scenes are so pure, you can't help but wonder how the filmmakers could pull it off. Everything is so ridiculous and over-the-place that it's almost impossible not to admire. Henry also falls off a horse, and I loved that because I once fell off a horse too. I fell unconscious but I guess this would be the best way to look at other people who have. What other movie has someone leap onto a motorcycle in midair and you feel the pressure of the seat threatening to fling you off? What other movie makes you want to look in every direction for fear of what's seen on those other angles? I mean, besides horror movies?
I was prepared to give the movie an A+ near the end, but then as it wrapped some things up, I had to add it to my list of movies that are very good up until the end, and I've seen a lot of movies that have turned out that way this year. One of Henry's acquaintances which we have no memory of asks if he can talk, we shake our head, and he says, "Great. I have a Chaplin." Well, while having a silent antagonist throughout the whole film is also revolutionary, I longed to hear what he sounded like. It would've been effectively expressive had he said something by the end. Also, yeah, there aren't many characters to root for or many development on them, and the twist at the end I could've done without and it raises some unanswered questions on what will happen for the future, however the Call of Duty and Grand Theft Auto games all had one-dimensional characters and the twist I didn't see coming, and the last line in the movie, I won't spoil it, but I thought about it for about half an hour and the more I did, the more the twist seemed coin-toss decent.
I guess the film's flaws aren't really flaws depending on how you look at the film. Hardcore Henry is in the end a blast, an aimless blast but all it tries to do is be fun, and it snaps into the bill and fires it sky-high.