An unbalanced sci-fi actioner dismissed as a gimmick straps in for a wild streaming ride

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via STX Entertainment

There’s an old adage that claims the best video game movies aren’t based on existing video games, but even then, the prospect of an entire feature unfolding from a first person perspective sounded like little more than a gimmick. That might be the case, depending on how you feel about Hardcore Henry.

The deranged sci-fi action thriller earned less than $20 million at the box office and earned reactions from both critics and audiences that could generously be described as tepid, but there’s a growing wave of appreciation behind the experimentally insane adventure, with cult classic status growing closer and closer.

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The title hero is played by a variety of camera operators and stunt doubles, with Henry waking up to discover he’s been resurrected from the dead as a human/robot hybrid, before a woman claiming to be his wife getting kidnapped right in front of his eyes. Sending him on a rampage, our vengeful hero decimates anyone who gets in his way, while setting about saving the world along the way.

Hardcore Henry is definitely not a film for everyone, but it’s been finding plenty of support among the iTunes customer base this week, with FlixPatrol outing the convoluted caper as one of the platform’s most-watched features.

There was talk of a sequel for a while, but the rights being purchased for $10 million rendered the profit margins razor-thin once the numbers had been crunched, so it’ll have to live on in infamy as an entirely unique and ambitiously unhinged explosion of action-packed inventiveness – which isn’t a bad legacy all things considered.