Fight scenes are the bread and butter of any action movie. Cinema’s most up-front and chaos-filled genre has always been willing to sacrifice plot for lovingly choreographed scenes of human destruction, but rarely has a film thrown itself so fully into the pursuit of destruction as Hardcore Henry.
The film, which premieres in the States at South By Southwest next month, is shot entirely in first-person, and is basically a half-assed post-it note’s worth of plot stuck on a gigantic murdery technicolor action destruction machine. The first official trailer dropped us into the world of Henry, a man who wakes up to his wife (who is also a super-scientist) grafting various bionic enhancements to his ruined body and telling him that bad people did bad things to him. The bad people then show up and take away his wife, meaning Henry has to use his bionically-enhanced human wrecking ball abilities to do very, very, very bad things to the bad people. That’s pretty much it. That’s the movie. But we can tell you that the journey of bad, explosive, and gleefully-violent things that Henry does somewhat resembles a completely insane first-person fever dream that is going to be one hell of an experience to watch on a massive theater screen.
Watch the second trailer here:
First-person perspective isn’t a completely new technique in film, but Hardcore Henry is one of the first full-length pictures to go all in on FPV action. The film has been in development for years, ever since director Ilya Naishuller created the viral hit music video to “Bad Motherfucker” by Biting Elbows, which was a completely revolutionary 5-minute thrill ride of genius GoPro filmography and editing.
After “Bad Motherfucker’s” success, Naishuller started putting more energy into a full-length project titled Hardcore, which dropped an unofficial, three-minute trailer way back in 2014, essentially a rough cut of an extended action set piece.
Naishuller crowd funded Hardcore, but it eventually premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival last year, and the project morphed into the crazy, insane, full-length PCP-trip that it is now. Enjoy.