Review: Hardcore Henry

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hardcore henry mainI think they need as a service to the public and give the same warning before HH that they give for roller coasters – “…if you have a heart condition, high blood pressure or are prone to seizers….please refrain from this experience…

They should give out complimentary doses of Dramamine and some quaaluds at the beginning, during the previews… Even then it takes the first thirty minutes just to acclimate you mind and body to the concept and the visual style but by that time for me the novelty had worn off and the rest of the film was a contentious audio visual stress experiment developed by a sadist.

Going to see the film is like being led into the front line of a war… you’re not all going to be there at the end, and if you do make it through, you deserve a metal.  But just like in war you also will very possibly have lingering side effects from the experience, sensory post traumatic stress if you will…

SO what is HH? all i can say is to explain the film by making a bold assumption on how and why the film was thought up in the first place…It was as if a bunch of Russians spent a full week, drinking vodka and having a call of duty gaming marathon, and HH was the result.

actually the experience itself is a lot like trying to drink a half gallon bottle of Schol Vodka… the worst vodka in the world.. all by yourself…After each dose you hope if you just keep going, it will eventually get better, you’ll get use to the pain and nausea, but the more you take in… the worse it gets..not better.hardcore henry

And at about the half way mark began to hold severe feeling of contempt for the filmmakers, the same contempt as I hold for the hundreds of first person video games which I have no longer have the patience, hand eye coordination or mental ability to play.
But also reminded me of two of the games I do play often, namely Dues Ex: Human Machina ( a Playstation 3 game first person scifi schooter where you are a soft of cyborg and The Darkness also a first person POV game with added supernatural tones.. anyway I digress….The obvious and overtly self conscious comparison the game genre is a massively rhetorical statement…
strange days 1995

The only other times I can think of the direct first person POV being innovatively used in the way as Hardcore Henry was the 1997 sleeper hit Strange Days directed by  Kathryn Bigelow, and written by James Cameron, one of the best films of the 1990s yet….they (Bigelow and Cameron)  both understood the need to use the style,sparingly. Only giving the audience necessary small doses, , most scenes only lasting a few minutes or less. In that film which I highly recommend the direct first person POV is caused by a law enforcement surveillance creation gone black market,squid-receptor-strange-days giving the user not only the first person POV but actually tapes into the cerebral cortex, giving the user the actual sensations of the recorded life experience. check out the teaser trailer –

But in HardCore Henry, the  filmmakers of seem so excited and obsessed with their unique arthouse style film that they do not worry about the insane overused of the concept or the negative effect it may invariably cause on the audience. I originally wanted to see the film in 3D but now I’m glad i didn’t that probably would have been too much…the-new-hardcore-henry-trailer-is-freaking-mind-blowing-880044

Near the end, the last thirty minutes or so the amount and severity of the camera shake was almost unintelligible, as if the filmmakers were trying to make the audience feel honestly uncomfortable pushing the limits of the “innovation” and uniqueness of the film… at that point it was very much like riding the notorious carnival ride “The Zipper”
After completing the film to say I was overwhelmed and over stimulated is an understatement, I felt like I had an emotional and mental stress hangover.

I also believe, and I heard a few people also mention this coming out of the theatre said it would have been easier to handle he film if we were sitting in lazy boy recliners, and finally at the end pf it all, those who survive, we should have been given a complimentary Xanax as a consolation prize for having successfully survived through the experience.

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