Shooty Shooty Bang Bang

SFX - - Reviews -

re­leased OUT NOW! 18 | 96 min­utes

Di­rec­tor Ilya Naishuller Cast Sharlto Co­p­ley, Danila Ko­zlovsky, Ha­ley Ben­nett, Tim Roth

Fancy play­ing a first- per­son shooter, but with­out all the te­dious joy­stick- han­dling and but­ton- push­ing? Then look no fur­ther than Hard­core Henry, a lu­di­crously vi­o­lent Rus­sianAmer­i­can co- pro­duc­tion that’s sure to be a big hit with the Xbox gen­er­a­tion, though less videogame- at­tuned au­di­ences may find it all rather drain­ing.

The first- per­son cam­era puts the au­di­ence in the po­si­tion of Henry, a cy­ber­netic sol­dier who’s res­ur­rected from death with no mem­ory and no vo­cal cords. Re­ceiv­ing in­struc­tions from var­i­ous char­ac­ters named Jimmy ( Sharlto Co­p­ley), Henry em­barks on a mis­sion to save his wife ( Ha­ley Ben­nett) from a tele­ki­netic al­bino su­pervil­lain ( Danila Ko­zlovsky).

If it’s high- en­ergy ac­tion you want, then it cer­tainly de­liv­ers – you’re never more than a few sec­onds away from a gun­fight, ex­plo­sion or car chase. On a tech­ni­cal level, the film is fre­quently as­ton­ish­ing, and there’s a slightly sub­ver­sive edge to lock­ing the au­di­ence into the per­spec­tive of a blood­thirsty killing ma­chine.

How­ever, Henry’s to­tal ab­sence of char­ac­ter re­sults in a frus­trat­ingly empty ex­pe­ri­ence, emo­tion­ally speak­ing, while the non- stop bar­rage of ac­tion even­tu­ally be­comes ex­haust­ing. Matthew Turner

Heavy use of first- per­son per­spec­tive is noth­ing new: 1947 noir Lady In The Lake is all seen from the POV of a PI.

“Don’t shoot, I own a small lamb!”

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