We’ve known this for a while: movies are jealous of vidya. Not just because of the more immersive experiences they can offer simply through interaction, but also because they rake in a whole lot more cash. And with First Person Shooters being a staple of gaming since DOOM, this approach seems like a good starting point toward merging both mediums together. Hardcore Henry is definitely not the first film to attempt this (not even the first attempt by director Ilya Naishuller to pull off this exact result) but it’s definitely a step in the right direction…
Following up on the grand tradition of ‘plot is for porn’ by John Carmack, Hardcore Henry stars with the protagonist waking up, only to find that his broken and mangled body is getting pimped out with transhuman augmented limbs by the best spouse ever, Estelle (played by Haley Bennett). She lets him know that his body has been ruined and that it only makes sense he doesn’t remember anything, informing him that his name is Henry and then helps him familiarize with the Sixaxis controls, just before the bad guys show up and start shooting up the place. Also, they kidnap his wife and Henry runs out of bubble-gum, which means his only option is to kick ass. Also, seasoned action movie nerds will appreciate the subtle nod to John Woo, what with the melodic sounds of Queen set against the constant Russian mayhem.
Hardcore Henry doesn’t waste its time with pleasantries, introducing the BBEG early on, a warlord with a raging case of the world domination named Akan (played by Danila Kozlovsky). The movie-game is set in the expansive open-world map of Moscow and everyone is out to kill the transhuman protagonist, with the exception of shady British dude Jimmy (Sharlto Copley). In keeping with its roots, the film has a branching story, a bit of mystery thrown in and we can safely hazard that it also features a big old double-cross somewhere around the 80-minute mark.
Alright, so with the synopsis out of the way, what can we expect from the feature film? Well, for starters, we can trust on the director pulling off the break-neck POV action that we want, what with him being the mind behind the direction of the YouTube smash-hit video Bad Motherfucker by the group Biting Elbows. You can watch the full video here, to get a more concrete taste of what to expect, soon as you hit start (Yes, we are aware that the thumbnail is a bit clickbait-y):
The video was a hit and for good reason, with the director managing to cram as many cool fight scenes and stunts in 4 minutes and 56 seconds than most action films pull off in their entirety, but the prospect of a feature-length film with this content is making us skeptical: if this much action is featured in 90 minutes, will the developers manage to maintain a flow that doesn’t tire the audience? We all love a good shoot-em-up action, but how is the story going to compensate for all this badassery? This is not a complaint regarding the quality, which is frakly looking stellar from the trailer alone: it’s an issue of whether the film will manage not to tire us out and keep the experience fresh, all the way through. Only the premiere will tell.
Oren Aviv, a representative of STX Entertainment, had this to say about Hardcore Henry:
“[The film]is one of the most original, adrenaline-filled moviegoing experiences to be presented in theaters in a long, long time…[it] puts moviegoers into the story and experience in a fun and visceral new way with a first-person perspective that we really have not experienced before. Ilya Naishuller has delivered spectacular action and visual effects that you really need to see on a big screen.”
Hardcore Henry is produced by Timur Bekmambetov, Ilya Naishuller, Inga Vainshtein Smith, Ekaterina Kononenko and is based on the screenplay written by Ilya Naishuller. It will come crashing into your local theaters on September 12th, 2016.