Hardcore Henry (2016) – Movie Review

Hardcore Henry (2015) - Movie Review

Well that was totally badass from start to finish – what a mental ride!

I’d heard a lot a out this twisted beauty over the last couple of months but I wasn’t altogether sure if I was going to like it or not.

To me, the early reports made it kinda sound like a Call of Duty game and that ain’t always my thing.

Within about 10 minutes of watching this movie I knew I was onto something different – something a level above anything that had been tried before.

The film benefits from doing something that most films in this genre don’t have the gall to do, that is, break formula and do something different.

Pretty damn cool in my book!

The Plot

Well, Henry awakens to find himself in an experimental chair of a futuristic laboratory. Then all kinda shit hits the fan for the next 90 minutes!

I really wish I could give you more than that but the whole film is based on this confused beginning – the audience needs to be as confused as Henry himself.

Just take it from me – you’ll like it! 🙂

The Star of The Show Ain’t Henry!

Director Ilya Naishuller (who also wrote and stars in the movie) has pulled off a really clever character twist in this film which helps the audience no end.

Whilst we watch proceedings through the eyes of Henry he isn’t really the lead character…


Yeah, bear with me a second…

A character named Jimmy subtly turns into the star of this movie without the audience really noticing.

He becomes Henry’s ‘sidekick’ and he also becomes a lead voice in the film. He’s played by actor Sharlto Copley and it’s a pretty impressive choice – he brings an element of humor and madness to the screen…

Mind you, it’s not as if the movie lacks madness at any point!


This movie definitely has the personality of an Xbox best-seller but it’s squeezed into the shot angles of a GoPro camera – it’s highly impressive action cinematography from start to finish.

It’s not long before the film descends into a truly mad parkour fest that constantly made me feel dizzy (in a good way!).

The action scenes (which make up at least 99% of the movie) are backed up by a truly wicked choice of soundtrack – it’s like someone’s discovered the most awesome jukebox in the world!

One particularly mad action scene is backed up by Queen’s “Don’t Stop Me Now” whilst a slightly more thoughtful section is backed up by The Temptation’s “My Girl”.

This choice of music is a masterstroke and does an impressive job of controlling film’s atmosphere comfortably.

To be honest with you this was just plain impressive – a vision that was brought to the screen with no holds barred and just made!

The only drawback I took from the experience was that it displays a plot that doesn’t carry much weight at all…but who gives a shit really?

We’ve got a guy ripping his way through tidal waves of henchmen, buckets of blood and completely mind blowing stunts.

All that is backed up by a ‘style’ Ilya Naishuller has honed in on and made his own – pretty awesome stuff.

As far as POV films go – this one has almost certainly broke the mold!

An instant classic.



  1. I really loved this movie also and I kinda want a sequel but filmed exactly the same way. This movie will be replicated loads of times now and this will always stand out as the benchmark for what action found footage (even though i wouldnt call this found footage) movies should be for me.

    • Hi Stewart!
      Yeah it will definitely be replicated – I found a pretty piss-poor cheap version on Putlocker the other day (it was like something the SyFy channel would come out with – not good at all!). But benchmark films always lead to poor rip-offs!

  2. I LOVED this movie. Saw it over the weekend and was blown away. Action every minute and so much fun to watch.
    Thanks for the review!

  3. Goes on the “incredible experiences” shelf. Was jaw dropped the whole movie. Loved how it just kept going and going (relentless). Also Sharlto Copley was his usual brilliant self. And I do kindly disagree with Stewart…this is true found footage in that the whole movie comes from a camera that is hidden inside the main characters Eyeball. The only instance where this is not the case are the glitch backs of his father and of being bullied as a child-this is still first person but from his memories instead of footage. 99% of the movie is found footage eyeball cam. Footage that is lost and then found is not the only type in the genre…you have mockumentary style, home movie style, government or security footage, and any story portrayed of the camera being acknowledged as a character in itself and physically there. And there are some exceptions to this (Nightlight, Resolution, Into the Void, Maniac) where the footage seen is from the eyes of a person or entity). Hardcore Henry is 99% true found footage and an excellent one at that. Should all check out the music video this director did before he made this movie filmed in the same style..called “Bad Motherf***er” (Director’s old band is playing the music in the video as well)

    • Fair point Brandon – I tend to agree! I find that most ‘GoPro’ offerings fit rather nicely into the Found Footage style – it’s an expanded genre these days that covers many different techniques (as you mentioned above – Nightlight etc.). I think it’s probably got to the point where POV and Found Footage are more or less one!

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