hardcore henry trailer

Hardcore Henry looks like a lot of things, but it sure as hell doesn’t look boring. Director Ilya Naishuller has done something genuinely unique – he’s made an action film shot entirely from the first person perspective, essentially adapting the first person shooter genre without actually adapting a video game. Here is a film that speaks the language of video games. As directors who grew up with video games start to make films, this is going to become more commonplace. This is the kind of thing that’s here to stay.

The new Hardcore Henry trailer doesn’t make it clear is this is a good thing or a bad thing yet, but it certainly looks impressive. And insane. And preposterous. And maybe really good. Or maybe really bad. Who knows?

While the first preview took plenty of time establishing the barebones plot of the film, this one is entirely about critical praise and big moments, selling jaw-dropping action alongside critical praise from people who certainly sound impressed. Or just plain exhausted. Then again, those aren’t mutually exclusive reactions.

In an age where millions of gamers take to YouTube and Twitch to watch other people play video games, it isn’t too surprising that someone has gone and made a movie that looks like the cinematic equivalent of watching someone else play Call of Duty. Whether that sounds like a good time or a total bore will probably determine whether or not this is going to be a movie for you.

Here’s the official synopsis for the film, which fills in all of the details this this trailer leaves out:

Strap in. Hardcore Henry is one of the most unflinchingly original wild-rides to hit the big screen in a long time:  You remember nothing. Mainly because you’ve just been brought back from the dead by your wife (Haley Bennett). She tells you that your name is Henry. Five minutes later, you are being shot at, your wife has been kidnapped, and you should probably go get her back. Who’s got her? His name’s Akan (Danila Kozlovsky); he’s a powerful warlord with an army of mercenaries, and a plan for world domination. You’re also in an unfamiliar city of Moscow, and everyone wants you dead. Everyone except for a mysterious British fellow called Jimmy (Sharlto Copley.) He may be on your side, but you aren’t sure. If you can survive the insanity, and solve the mystery, you might just discover your purpose and the truth behind your identity. Good luck, Henry. You’re likely going to need it…

Hardcore Henry opens on April 8, 2016. The film is set to play at the SXSW Film Festival this Sunday, so look for our review early next week.

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