Catching Up: Hardcore Henry (2016)

Updated on September 6, 2016

Director: Ilya Naishuller
Sharlto Copely, Daniala Kozlovsky, Haley Bennett, Tim Roth, and Henry

Hardcore Henry is nothing more than 90 minutes straight of non-stop, bloody, gruesome, savage violence. What little story there is here makes little to no sense, and we never once give a rat’s ass about the main character, largely because we not only never hear his voice, but we also don’t see his face until one very brief moment during the film’s endless climax. The movie is, as promised by the trailers, shot entirely from the title character’s point of view; it’s basically a cinematic first person shooter video game. While it’s certainly a unique approach, if this is the best that can be done with the technique, then I pray to God that it’s never used again.

The movie begins providing some semblance of backstory for the main character. Mainly, we’re told that he was bullied as a child and that his father (an embarrassed looking Tim Roth) once told him, “You….little…..pussy!” There was actually more to the conversation than that, but we don’t hear it until the very end. Anyway, Henry wakes up in some lab in a dirigible floating high in the skies above Russia, and is having robot parts being put onto his severed limbs by a woman named Estelle (an awful Haley Bennett), who claims to be his wife. So now Henry is half-man/half-cyborg. Who was he before? How did he wind up in the lab in such horrible condition? The movie doesn’t care enough to explain, so I guess I won’t care either.

Roughly five minutes pass when the lab is raided by a bad dude named Akan (a painfully over-the-top Daniala Kozlovsky), who has some unexplained telekinetic powers, and who wants to use Estelle’s technology to raise his own army of super soldiers. Henry and Estelle manage to get away by using an escape pod and landing in the middle of traffic. Down there waiting for them is some of Akan’s goons, who kidnap Estelle and try to finish Henry off. Henry is saved by a helpful chap named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley, who is all new levels of hammy), who wants to aid Henry on his quest, and who keeps showing up no matter how many times he’s killed. Every time Jimmy shows back up, he comes back as a different personality. There’s the shy and timid Jimmy; there’s the perverted, coke-snorting Jimmy; and there’s the free-loving hippy Jimmy. The movie eventually explains all of this, and while it’s really stupid, it does lead to one of the most entertainingly bizarre musical numbers that I can ever remember seeing.

Ugh! | Source

That’s pretty much all that can be said about the plot. There’s a big twist revealed in the end, but it is so easy to guess, and it has the movie conclude on a fairly repugnant note. Up until then, we’re treated to scene after scene after scene of people getting shot, dismembered, slashed, blown to bits, burned alive, and literally ripped open. At one point, Henry rips out his own eyeball to decapitate a bad guy (don't even ask). There’s even one particularly lovely scene where Henry takes out a rapist cop (all the cops in this movie are evil) by squeezing his balls until they burst and shoving a pipe down his throat. What’s more is that it never stops! Bad guys come out of only God knows where so the filmmakers can keep the carnage going, and if there are any innocent bystanders nearby, you can certainly bet that they’re going to be blown to bits as well.

There comes a point where this stops being entertaining and simply becomes downright nauseating. The technique only makes things worse. While some of stunts are impressively filmed, the majority of the movie is visually painful to watch. The camera shakes so violently at times that it’s enough to elicit motion sickness from the audience. Even the many explosions in the film are quite chintzy, although given that the film was made on a really low budget, I suppose I should be more forgiving about that (but I’m not going to be).

Look, I love action movies. I even love really violent action films. I enjoyed Mad Max: Fury Road and The Raid 2 and 2013’s The Last Stand, and I LOVED Die Hard and Terminator 1 & 2 and Lethal Weapon and John Woo’s The Killer. Those were action movies with characters that I remembered, story lines that were interesting, and action scenes that were exciting and lots of fun. Those six movies are real action movies. Hardcore Henry is just an exercise in sadism, and one that’s built around a gimmick that it simply cannot support.

Rated R for
non-stop bloody brutal violence, profanity, sexual content, nudity, drug use

Final Grade: ½ * (out of ****)

What did you think of this movie? :D

Cast your vote for Hardcore Henry (2016)


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)