Opening on cinemas this week is the best video game movie that’s not actually based on a video game, so strap in!
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…
If you were looking for a movie to revolutionise the action film genre… sadly Hardcore Henry isn’t really it. Although the first-person viewpoint is seriously innovative, it does little more than showcase what happens when you strap a Go-Pro to a stuntman as he goes through a series of flashy and admittedly impressive stunts. If you were expecting plot or motivation, there isn’t much. Hardcore Henry is gimmicky but stylish as hell, even if it can’t escape a 48% on Rotten Tomatoes.
Lee Gates is a bombastic TV personality whose popular financial network show has made him the money wiz of Wall Street. But after he hawks a high tech stock that mysteriously crashes, an irate investor takes Gates, his crew, and his ace producer Patty Fenn hostage live on air. Unfolding in real time, Gates and Fenn must find a way to keep themselves alive while simultaneously uncovering the truth behind a tangle of big money lies.
Money Monster is supposed to be a thriller, but the uneven, random pacing and tone lets it down. It strives to be intellectual and sophisticated, and succeeds occasionally, but as a result it also comes across as condescending. Critics are saying that it’s “good enough”, which is damning as far as praise goes, and have given it 55% on Rotten Tomatoes.