Hardcore Henry flaunts its first person perspective in nauseating and chaotic action. Grind the enemy's face against a wall! Invert their spine by jumping on it through a small grating! Shoot their damn heads til they explode! Oh yeah, keep it going! Ahem. Putting aside the gratuitous violence that certainly warrants the highest certification available, the idea of a first person action romp sounds perfect in theory. Execution though? Perhaps not. I believe this type of technique is best suited to virtual reality, and even then chances are you'll projectile vomit as you pass out. A cyborg is tasked in assassinating a telekinetic megalomaniac who wants to create an army of super soldiers. Oh, and kidnaps his wife. Bad move!
The concept is rather ingenious. Taking a GoPro sort of camera, attaching it to a stuntman and letting the havoc wreak from his perspective. This works solidly during scenes of basic dialogue and minimal action. However, when a mass hand-to-hand combat brawl commences for ten ridiculous minutes or whenever our mute protagonist performs some tame parkour, the camera technique is too clumsy and messy. The constant shakiness, abrupt cuts (unfortunately wasn't filmed in one whole take) and sense of disorientation, detracted from the blistering action that was depicted. A few scenes, like the motorbike pursuit or the mass defending of a cripple going down an elevator, work excellently. The other action sequences not so much, which is a shame.
The story isn't exactly anything to write home about either. Essentially a video game premise where our hero must fight his way to the final boss. Functional, but hardly memorable. A surprising amount of comedy complements the action and had me chuckling on a few occasions, especially the end. This is mostly down to Copley's performance(s) who, hands down, saves this from being an incoherent bore-fest. Clearly, he had fun, and I for one could feel his joyous energy. As an action fan, I applaud the dynamic change in style. New, refreshing and innovative. However it's style-over-substance, and I personally did not like the style.