Videogame movies suck as a general rule. I mean it’s really hard to take that whole concept of interactivity and all the elements that make a videogame and then translate it into a movie. That’s why probably some of the best interpretations we’ve seen aren’t actually based on real game properties, but instead outside properties that reference games, like Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World. That being said, the trailer for the upcoming movie Hardcore Henry does a really good job of showing how first person shooters can be translated to film.
So let me add a bit of context to this. The trailer was released yesterday, February 10, the exact same day Extra Credits released their video co-written by Bob Chipman of Moviebob fame, ‘Why Are There No Good Video Game Movies?’. Of note in the Extra Credits video is the idea that perhaps one way videogames can be translated into movies is through using a first person perspective the whole time. “Call of Duty is synonymous with war from a first person viewpoint. So why not make that movie?”
I’m embedding the Extra Credits video below so you can see the whole thing, but in essence their idea was that putting war as it is in a first person perspective could be really powerful and moving for the audience. It could get the audience to reconsider their relationship to war in a really meaningful way to feel even the “smaller experiences: basic training, deployment, briefings, patrols, long nights of fear and uncertainty, brief moments of levity, the making and losing of friends, victory, defeat, pain, loss, injury, maybe even death.” Of course, that would be a great idea but if you thought something that intensely moving and thought provoking was going to be our first forray into that style of movie, well… Hardcore Henry has something to say about that.
I seriously can’t express how horrible Hardcore Henry looks from a plot perspective. It’s a first-person movie shot with a silent protagonist. The main character, Henry, is essentially the Bionic Man who has to fight his way through an army run by a secret organization who wants to know about his bionic parts. Or something. Amnesia plays a part as well, I think. And yet, despite how absolutely horrible it sounds, I kind of really want to go see it when it comes out in April. Like yeah, I’ve LOVE an intense, thought-provoking experience based on a video game property, BUT… a movie that legit feels like the most absurd kind of action videogame sounds good as well.
And you know what? This isn’t even the most original idea either. It was kind of done on YouTube already. Does anyone else remember the ‘Bad Motherfucker’ music video that came out almost 3 years ago? A lot of very similar concepts. It made for a really entertaining 5 minutes, so logically why wouldn’t it make for a damn entertaining 90 minutes? I’m not casting shade on the idea, though. The Hardcore Henry trailer looks fun, frantic, and entertaining at least, so maybe they somehow pulled it off? Based off seven reviews, Rotten Tomatoes gives the movie an 86% “fresh” rating, so who am I to do anything other than let the trailer pump me up?
How can you NOT get super into that trailer once Queen starts playing? I defy you to not smile at it! I DEFY YOU!