Tag Archives: frenetic

Hardcore Henry – Review

16 Apr

There are many people out there who stick their noses way up in the air because quite clearly they are too good for action movies. Often times, however, I may agree with them, no matter how forgiving I like to think I am towards certain cinematic circumstances. Recently, action movies seem to have gotten an extra dosage of adrenaline and a couple needed brain cells to fuel the imagination. Last year we got Mad Max: Fury Road, which redefined what it meant to make a movie in the action genre. Now, in 2016, we have another knockout in the form of Hardcore Henry. Did you ever want to watch Crank through the eyes of protagonist Chev Chelios? Well, this is the closest thing you’ll get to that, but even more surprisingly, you might just find yourself marveling at some of the raw imagination that went into this modern action masterpiece.


After waking up in a highly advanced laboratory with no memory, Henry is pieced back together after some sort of unexplained accident. The surgeon operating on him is his wife, Estelle (Haley Bennett), who tells Henry he has a lot of his life to remember. Before any of the can happen, the laboratory is raided by criminal mastermind Akan (Danila Kozlovsky) and his men who kidnap Henry’s wife and try to kidnap him as well. After barely escaping their grasp, Henry soon meets a mysterious man named Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), who seems to have as many personalities as he does lives. With the help of Jimmy, Henry begins a violent and vengeful mission to save his wife from Akan, and also uncover the truth about Akan’s company and his own complicated past.

Let’s get right into it. The main draw to see this movie is to experience a highly frenetic action movie in the first person perspective. This technique has been explored to some degree before by Gaspar Noé in his film Enter the Void, but it’s not utilized to such a degree as it is in Hardcore Henry. I was really nervous at first that this movie was going to be absolutely nauseating, but I was pleasently surprised that minor dizziness was the only side effect. It’s such a neat idea to make an action movie this off the walls insane be shown in this perspective,and I thought back to the game Mirror’s Edge quite a bit as I was watching it. This film really succeeds at bringing the viewer into the wild and weird world of Hardcore Henry.


While the name Henry may be in the title and we see all of the action through Henry’s eyes, the most memorable person in this movie is Sharlto Copley who once again proves that he’s one of the most underrated actors working in film. Without spoiling anything about his character, Copley gets to show off a huge variety of personalities in the short run time of the movie. He really steals the show here. I’d also like to mention Danila Kozlovsky as the villain Akan. I don’t know who this guy is but he really seems to be loving playing the role of the over the top antagonist. He’s a memorable villain and works perfectly for this movie.

I think the main reason someone should watch an action movie is to be completely taken back and entertained by the action that is happening. Now, an action movie with a great story is an added bonus, but sometimes an archetypical revenge tale is all I need. Hardcore Henry falls into the revenge tale story arc pretty well, but there are a lot of unique things about the story that make it surprisingly more imaginative than I thought it was going to be. In fact, it made me curious about the other aspects of the world that these characters lived in. I wanted to know more about the technology and the military and all that stuff and wouldn’t be against seeing more from this director and the world he’s created.

Hardcore Henry is a wonderful blend of frenetic violence, mayhem, stunt work, and imagination. While the story isn’t the strongest you’ll ever see, it has a lot of eccentric elements that make it memorable, and Sharlto Copley and Danila Kozlovsky are more than entertaining enough to keep my attention. The action and perspective are still the main reasons to see this movie, and I refuse to call it gimmicky. Hardcore Henry is an experimental action film that deserves all of the attention it receives. I highly recommend any action junkie to get to theater for Hardcore Henry ASAP.

Tokyo Gore Police – Review

2 Aug

With a name like Tokyo Gore Police, it’s pretty easy to know what to expect. There’s never been an Oscar winner with a name like this, and they’re probably never will be. But, what we get instead is one of the most fun, silly, gory, offensive, and obnoxious films ever made. I loved every minute of it.


In the future, Tokyo’s police force is privatized and a special forces team is created to hunt down and kill shape shifting criminals called “Engineers.” Ruka (Eihi Shiina) is one of the best engineer hunters around, and is especially driven after seeing her father, another officer, shot in front of her when she was just a child. Now, she must face her most powerful and dangerous adversary yet; and engineer man scientist called the Key Man. Tokyo is thrown into chaos as the police and engineers engage in all out bloody war.

As far as shock value, violence, and ridiculousness, Tokyo Gore Police goes above and beyond the call of duty. Geysers and geysers of blood spray all over the scenery and even onto the camera lens. Heads roll and ligaments fly and grotesque mutations are played flor laughs. I couldn’t help but smile from ear to ear the whole time.

The writing is silly and the acting is pretty unremarkable, but let’s be real. Are we really going to watch this movie for the superb acting and witty dialogue? Of course not. We’re going to watch it for the gallons of blood, the crazy action, and the laugh till it hurts dark comedy.

Something that did surprise me was the really cool cinematography. Colors and light are used very well to create an unreal atmosphere that looks like it came out of a comic book or a video game. This isn’t your average Tokyo. This is a Tokyo on LSD that has come straight from hell to deliver a bloody demonic trip. Greens and reds pop out of the screen and assault your vision with radical color design. If you saw my review of RoboGeisha, then you might recall how the camera work is as frenetic as the action. This is also the case with Tokyo Gore Police. Really cool stuff.

This is a pretty short review, because I have nothing very serious to say about this movie. It’s goofy, bloody, and obnoxious in its violence, dialogue, and sex. If you want to freak your friends or family out or if you just want to have a crazy time with a movie, I highly recommend Tokyo Gore Police. It’s a really great time.