We first covered what was formerly known as Hardcore back in September following its TIFF debut. The trailer that came out of the festival was raw, packed with pure adrenaline, and perhaps one of the most violent spectacles we’ve seen in quite some time. Alright, that’s a bit hyperbolic, but that’s also a huge credit to the way Ilya Naishuller’s film is shot. Now that its clear of the festival market and STX Entertainment is readying its theatrical release, the film is now aptly titled Hardcore Henry after its titular protagonist.
Shot entirely in first person, the film centers around Henry, a man saved from death thanks to the bio-engineering efforts of his wife Estelle. From the moment he awakens, we see everything through the eyes of Henry, as if we’re playing some maniacal sci-fi video game. When Estelle’s kidnapped, Henry aligns himself with a man named Jimmy (played by the incomparable Sharlto Copley), in an effort to track down Akan, a man with a diabolical plan to build an army of bioengineered soldiers.
Upon viewing the trailer, it’s clear Hardcore Henry is special. It accomplishes what many video game adaptations wish they could do, except it’s not based off some video game. It’s derived from Naishuller’s own madness. Could an explosive 90-minute feature film shot entirely from the main character’s perspective get tiresome? It’s possible. But it’s hard to ignore the cinematic achievements made here, and for that, it’s worth the look.
As previously mentioned, Hardcore Henry has already wowed festival audiences and boasts a solid critic rating. It lands in theaters April 8. Check out the theatrical trailer up top and let us know what you think.
Photo Credit: STX Entertainment