Keith Adams Jr.’s review published on Letterboxd:
I finally got around to watching it and you know what? It did not disappoint. You think I was going to wait until it aired on Showtime (which broadcasts movies from this film's distributor STX Entertainment) or buy it on BD, DVD or DHD? No way! I streamed it for free from a great source and again, it did not disappoint. Heard of the popular YouTube music video for Biting Elbows' "Bad Motherf**ker", where we got a POV view of a one badass escape from a building full of bad guys? Well, writer/director Ilya Naishuller took the concept from his own music video that went viral all over the interwebs and put it into this 97-minute all-action assault where it doesn't feel like you're part of the action. You're IN the action. You ARE the action hero. You are the one kicking ass and taking names.
Also, in keeping up with the mystery of the lead hero, I won't reveal the name of the actor who plays Henry, despite the actor's name being in the credits.
Here's the scenario: you are a cyborg who's just waking up from the dead with no memory of how you got there to begin with. Your wife & creator, Estelle (Haley Bennett, who's been having the biggest time of her career in 2016), tells you that your name is Henry and tells you about what happened and about the situation you're in. 15 minutes later, an army of mercenaries led by the telekinetic warlord AKAN (Danila Kozlovsky) have come to the laboratory you're located in and they've come to shoot you. You and Estelle have taken an emergency pod and made your escape. Despite surviving the fall, AKAN's men incapacitate you and kidnap Estelle. Now you're angry and you want revenge! So, you begin ripping apart the streets of Moscow, Russia to find the people responsible for taking her and tear them apart. However, despite your reluctance, you accept help from a mystery man that calls himself Jimmy (Sharlto Copley), who will guide you through your campaign of vengeance and will come to assist in any way possible through a series of identities. You will also have to contend with AKAN's plans to create an army of bio-engineered super-soldiers to help him take over the world (OF COURSE!). It will be a treacherous mission for you to accomplish but with your strength and cyber-bionics, you might just survive it and succeed.
Let's get one thing straight about "Hardcore Henry". It's not some version of a found footage movie. It's POV, the first-ever first person action movie. It feels like a video game but because it's a movie, the experience is way better than a video game. That alone made it a fun and enjoyable watch for me. How I wished that I've seen this in a theater and I would've been really hyped up. Naishuller knew exactly what he was going for and succeeds in creating the ultimate next-gen cinematic experience that goes beyond genres and traditional storytelling and goes for visceral excitement.
"Hardcore Henry" is balls out insanity and makes no apologies for it. Extremely bloody, explosively entertaining and packs non-stop action-packed fun in a short amount of time. I know that it's wishful thinking but let's hope for more adventures with Henry that's bigger, bloodier and louder! Plus more Jimmy!