"Hardcore Henry" is a POV action movie about a man who wakes with a supposed bout of amnesia only to find that he's more or less a bionic man with cybernetic limbs that have been given to him by a scientist claiming to be his wife. His wife is then kidnapped by a group of mercenaries lead by their telekinetic boss and now the bionic man, Henry has to find his wife and also find out more about his mysterious past. Just imagine any basic kidnapping-revenge movie that Liam Neeson has starred and add in the element of it being filmed entirely as if our hero is wearing a GoPro throughout the whole film.
Upon watching the trailers, I already knew what this movie would be. It would be extremely light on any story or characterization, and it would be just a bunch of over-the-top action that puts you in the shoes of Henry. For the most part, this movie succeeds in doing that, starting specifically with the action sequences. As far as how they're filmed, it's a mixed bag, but when the action is going down, you definitely feel the intensity of it all. It's all very fast paced and extravagant like it would be were you in the exact same situation and in most scenes, it immerses you in the experience, making for some entertaining moments.
On the other hand, the POV style of filming does start to feel a bit gimmicky after a while. It's obviously the only thing in this movie that stands out as far as film-making goes, but there's only so much of it you can take before eventually feeling a bit worn out from seeing the same shot through the whole movie. I won't lie, I even started to get a bit lightheaded and nauseous during the climax, but it's not as if I actually puked in the theater. That's just a fair warning to anyone who considers seeing this movie. The POV action will affect some people negatively, so just know that before seeing it.
But back to the positive aspect, one very entertaining thing about this movie is that of Sharlto Copley's character of Jimmy. Jimmy basically starts out as an ally to Henry, but you eventually start to see him frequently appearing as different versions of himself after dying. This was a very funny and entertaining addition to the movie that added to the video game element of the plot, and Copley, as usual, did a great job with his performance, having to act with different personalities, sometimes even interacting with himself.
I also liked some of the more over-the-top ideas added to the movie. I mentioned a telekinetic villain earlier, and that's just the beginning of the crazy ideas. You have other stuff like other versions of people as well as cybernetics and a whole bunch of outlandish scientific ideas. Are they realistic or original? No, but that's not needed for this movie. This movie's goal is to essentially be a big screen video game for people to have fun with and that's what I got out of it.
In the end, "Hardcore Henry" isn't anything unique in terms of story or character development, but it's not trying to be a masterclass piece of cinema. It's just a fun movie with entertaining ideas and mostly well filmed action that may be nothing more than a gimmick, but it was a gimmick that made the movie even more enjoyable than it needed to be and that's all I could ask for in a movie like this.