Monday, April 11, 2016

You didn't make history, Henry. You helped end it.

Honestly, I'm probably the least hardcore guy you've (n)ever met.

No tattoos, no piercings. No rad facial hair, or gnarly scarring of any of kind. I don't drink (never have), I don't do any drugs (and damn near refuse to take even over-the-counter stuff while I'm at it). Hell, I don't even gamble, outside of going to my awful job every day (I'm assuming this eventually be the death of me)..

Shit, and other than getting beat up my older brothers when I was kid, I haven't even been in a real fight. But the probably least hardcore thing about me?

I get motion sickness.

Very, very easily. 

While watching someone else spin around in circles isn't nearly as fun, it would sadly have the same nauseating effect that seeing Hardcore Henry had on me. Equal parts insane action movie and ballsy experimental film, writer/director Ilya Naishuller's first feature length film is truly a punch to the stomach. And while someone certainly smacked my bitch up, I gotta was one Hell of a ride.

Imagine the guy from Doom got his dick stuck in a Playstation 11 while watching Crank on the way home from a parkour expo, and you might have a sense of what it's like to experience something as f--ked up as Hardcore Henry. While there's an attempt at a story, and some sort of weird mythology, basically this film is a ninety-six minute ride from Action Movie Hell straight through to Video Game Heaven. The story is serviceable, sure, but mostly serves as an excuse for Henry to kick ass and blow shit up. Lots of ass, and lots of shit.

Apparently Henry is some sort of experiment gone wrong (or right, depending), and there's a group of Generic Euro-Trash trying to kill him. Sort of. Henry may have just been a guy once, but after a few upgrades to his abilities, uh...and a broken voice-function, he has essentially become an ass-kicking machine.


Along the way, Henry meets the film's most interesting character, Jimmy, possible the coolest non-playable character in the history of videogames. Er, movies. See, Jimmy appears out of nowhere, gives Henry a phone with a blinking dot on it, and says GO THERE. And if you've ever played a video game, you know what's going to happen next: countless enemies and mini-bosses. And when they're finally (and gruesomely) defeated? Well, Thank you, Henry. But our princess is another castle! 

The whole time I saw these vans...
I was hearing the A-Team theme song.
Hardcore Henry isn't one shot like I thought it might have been, but it is very close to being one long action sequence. Luckily for a huge bitch anyone like me, the film manages to take a few breaks, and chills the f--k out. For a second. And while on paper it's to have actual dialogue and a story, you can almost hear everyone involved catching their breath, and letting you catch yours, too. I'm not sure I ever need to see the flick again, but I give it major props for being balls-out insanity, start-to-finish.

Hopefully never appearing with their balls out or in, are the Yays and Boos. It looked as if the theater was mostly full, but had I actually turned my head around at any sort of speed other than extreme slow-motion to check, I would have no doubt started the barf-o-rama. I knew we shouldn't have drank all that castor oil.

Dude, Russian Gym Class is pretty f--king hardcore.

  • Holy f--king Hell, you guys. The opening credits are f--king INSANE. For whatever reason, we're treated to close-up shots of graphic violence in glorious slo-motion. Yes. I now know exactly what it looks like when someone gets hit in the face with a brick. Or a bat. Or shot in the head. Or stabbed through the neck. Or gutted with a broken bottle.
  • The guys f--king with Henry's voice feature are pretty awesome. I think they should have totally went with Vader.
  • That initial crash scene was amazing. No, really. I thought that was going to be the showstopper. Instead, it was the coolest thing in the first four minutes.
  • All of the versions of Jimmy were fantastic. I especially liked Homeless Jimmy, Hippie Jimmy or maybe even Camouflage Jimmy. 
  • You want a puff? Haha...that guy.  I actually liked his chick, too.
  • Speaking of chicks, we're treated to a lot of first-person nudity in what I hope is a top-shelf Russian brothel. Um, because if that's middle of the road...well, I'm gonna need a passport (and probably a divorce).
  • The action almost all goes without saying, right? Right. But this one time, not at band camp, Henry holds up a dude to look him in the eye...and his head is shot right the f--k off. In front of us. Like, in our hands.
  • A fantastic soundtrack. Really. So profoundly...American?
  • I love subtitle humor. Here, we get so many people talking at the same time, they all just start to pile up on each other. (brilliant!)
  • I don't remember their role in the actual story, but there's a pretty sweet pair of Russian assassin ladies that I was a huge fan of. Huge. Okay, fine. Average-size fan of.
  • And finally, while the whole f--king movie is arguably the best action sequence ever, let me put my sweaty hands together for highway/convoy scene and the final roof fight. Each of these bits probably has enough cool shit to fill ten other movies, but Henry's too hardcore for that. If another movie asked Henry for an intense action sequence he'd probably just punch it in the nuts and make out with its mom. In front of its dad, no less.
I hope my Ear Nose and Throat doctor is a little less aggressive. 
  • Look, I love an easily-recognizable villain as much as the next guy, but super-powered Albino Kurt Cobain? I just him.
  • Someone mentions that in Russia, they sell 100,000 baseball bats a year. But only 50 baseballs. Comrades, you know you throw the ball, right? Not the..nevermind. Swing away, Boris.
  •'s kind of easy to attach Henry's leg. Like...I've had a harder time putting the lid back on the Skippy, you know?
  • That nose+pliers scene was a bit...much. Yikes.
  • You're half-machine, half-pussy. Well, jokes on you asshole. I'm a total pussy.
  • Someone mentions a 'destroyer-class' penis. Eww. No matter the POV, I'm good, thanks.  Though this one time, on the internet, I....nevermind.
  • So, you remember mega-boss, Albino Kurt Cobain? Well, this asshat force-throws a hooker at us. Not cool, man. That's no way to treat a dirty, dirty whore.
  • That was a weird Under My Skin dance-number, was it not?
  • This is said: They've got 6 vehicles. At least 35 men. Look, I don't know Russian math, but...uh, something's not adding up here. Hold on. Carry the one...nope. Still retarded.
  • Sadly, we're treated to a pretty badass third-person sniping party...and it might be the coolest thing we see. Or, and this is probably it, this was thirty seconds I didn't have to concentrate on not throwing up.
  • Possibly unrelated, but I have been going to the movies for three decades. This is the first time I can ever recall, in the history of salty snacks and tasty beverages, I didn't finish either. Not even half-way (and I got Smalls).
  • And finally, sometimes, occasionally, I kinda got lost in the first-person related madness. I mean, I kinda felt bad for killing all those people with my own hands. I've never slashed so many throats. Or shoved a guy's face into a fan. Or exploded a dirty cop's testicles. Well, I didn't feel so bad about that last one, actually.

A couple years back my mom tricked me into accompanying her on a helicopter ride over the Big Island of Hawai'i. About three seconds into the hour-long flight, maybe four, I almost lost my f--king mind. I was so nauseous, I instantly felt I was going to throw up all over the five other passengers suffocating me with their touristy girth.  

But I kept my shit together, you know? Totally didn't spew. Sure, it would have been nice to blow that helicopter to a thousand pieces and land chest-hair first on a f--king killer whale doing a backflip. But instead, I just sat there quietly, totally composed.

F--king hardcore, right?


  1. LOL what a way to close a review. My husband went to this and said it was okay. I'm not sure if I'll ever get around to seeing it, but it looks like it's fun enough. Great review!

    1. Haha, yeah, I'm an asshole...but I went for it.

      Did your husband go solo? I went alone (no surprise there), but I'm actually glad, because I was definitely feeling shaky. Had I tried to talk to someone sitting next to me, I probably would have yakked all over their nachos.


  2. I can relate to the motion sickness thing. I completely had to avoid Hardcore Henry (I got sick by just watching the trailer).

    1. Yeah, man. There were some times I really needed to concentrate on not throwing up all over every one in the theater for sure. So much so, it might have taken me out of the movie a bit, you know, having to generally be aware of myself.

      I don't think home-viewing is going to make this one any better, either. Maybe just get some stills and some death metal...and make it happen.