HARDCORE HENRY: DVD
You remember nothing. You've just been brought back from the dead by your wife (Haley Bennett). She tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go and get her back. Who's got her? His name's Akan (Danila Kozlovsky); he's a powerful warlord with an army of mercenaries, and a plan for world domination. You're also in an unfamiliar city: Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. Everyone except for a mysterious British fellow, Jimmy (Sharlto Copley). He may be on your side, but you aren't sure. If you can survive the insanity, and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity. Good luck, Henry.
Review by Andrew L. Urban:
Dirty Harry has nothing on Hardcore Henry, whose day is constantly being made by an army of robotic mercenaries singularly incapable of overcoming Henry's superior combat skills. But then Henry is a rebuilt human reminiscent of Billion Dollar Man - except he hasn't had his speech module activated ....
Made almost entirely (except for one, dimply lit shot) from Henry's point of view, the film looks much like a shoot 'em up video game in which the gamer's point of view prevails, adding a visceral thrill to shooting down enemy combatants. Maximising this conceit, the film is technically brilliant and endlessly engaging. The cumulative effect has a constricting impact, vaguely claustrophobic, which is intended to heighten the thrills; it does.
Non-stop action is driven by a relentless score from Darya Charusha, adding to the sensation that we are inside the shoot-outs and chases. Ilya Naishuller's screenplay is a brutally effective scenario - not without touches of humour - that blends technology fantasy with the mysterious source of supernatural powers as exercised by the villain, Akan (Danila Kozlovsky), described as warlord. Think of all the movie villains who have sought world domination, add the ability to move objects and bodies, a shock of blond hair and an accent that seems somehow threatening.
Especially impressive is the use of Moscow locations and local talent - mostly for thugs and strippers in various underworld clubs - and the flowing cinematography that captures hand to hand battles, shoot-outs and freeway chases with seamless ease.
Haley Bennett also shines as the pretty wife whose loyalties we are driven to question, and Sharlto Copley is magnificent as a multi-tasking Jimmy, playing with us as much as he plays with Henry's mind.
The film's gory violence tips it into the horror basket and justifies the R18+ rating.
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HARDCORE HENRY: DVD (R18+)
CAST: Sharlto Copley, Danila Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Andrei Dementyev, Darya Charusha, Sveta Ustinova, Tim Roth
PRODUCER: Timur Bekmambetov, Ekaterina Kononenko, Ilya Naishuller, Inga Vainshtein
DIRECTOR: Ilya Naishuller
SCRIPT: Ilya Naishuller
CINEMATOGRAPHER: Chris W. Johnson, Pasha Kapinos, Vsevold Kaptur, Fedor Lyass
EDITOR: Steve Mirkovich
MUSIC: Darya Charusha
RUNNING TIME: 96 minutes
DVD DISTRIBUTOR: Roadshow Entertainment
DVD RELEASE: August 3, 2016