Hardcore Henry (Blu-ray Review)

HH squareBrace yourself for one of the most unflinchingly original wild rides when the adrenaline-fueled action hit Hardcore Henry arrives on Digital HD on July 12, 2016 and on Blu-ray, DVD and On Demand on July 26, 2016 from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment and STX Entertainment.  Filled with non-stop action and thrilling adventure, Hardcore Henry is the first film shot completely in first-person shooter perspective.  The Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD feature even more explosive thrills with deleted scenes and commentary with the director and actor/producer.  Be the first to own Hardcore Henry, starring Sharlto Copley (Chappie, District 9, Elysium), and immerse yourself in an exciting new world as you become the title hero!

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Your name is Henry.  You only know that because your wife who has brought you back from the dead tells you.  But you’re in bad shape and there are people out to get you and her.  Ready to strap on your guns, face the various personas of guy who keeps popping up called Jimmy and kick some serious ass?  Welcome to Hardcore Henry.

In my theatrical review of Hardcore Henry I had written that it was one of those movies that’s hard to review – now on home video even more so.  Mainly because the first time out I saw the film was on a Digital XD Imax size screen and it was a feat to get through.  On the one hand making a film completely from the first person is an original and unique idea that has never been explored and on the other the film does also contain enough shaky cam to make even roller coaster lovers queasy – especially on a screen that size.  But watching the film on a smaller space I appreciated much more the fun of the experience, plus I noticed little physical and character details that I had missed on the big screen.

Best of Hardcore is definitely the multi-character work of Sharlto Copley, who dons the persona of a ton of very different dudes to give the piece some serious spirited sass.  Giving the film acting cred, Copley adds panache to a piece that could have been a surface affair.  Not that the base brawn factor isn’t front and center, as there are some visceral visuals taken right out of an arcade style shooting game that prove brutally brilliant.  (This one is produced by gun-loving Russian filmmaker Timur Bekmambetov after all!)  But Copley works as the device that reminds folks to have fun – it’s just a movie.

I’m all for keeping things kinetic, but there’s also something to be said for rose stopping and smelling too.  With the arrival of Hardcore Henry now on a home format it feels like fans can finally have both.

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Encoding: MPEG-4 AVC

Resolution: 1080p

Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1

Clarity/Detail: Be it the cinematography or the transfer here this one is crisp and clean as they come.

Depth: Actually a ton, which is surprising from a film shot in the first person.

Black Levels: Thankfully only a few dark sequences – the filmmaker wanted you to see everything!

Color Reproduction: Gorgeous colors – look at that sky as you’re falling!

Flesh Tones: Lavish – look at Henry’s wife dammit.

Noise/Artifacts: Clean.


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Audio Formats(s): English 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, DVS Dolby Digital 2.0

Subtitles: English SDH, English, Spanish, French

Dynamics: Like a video game come to life, the sound design is high octane.

Low Frequency Extension: Nothing notable – and that’s probably a good thing.

Surround Sound Presentation: You’re practically in the movie here – from all sides.

Dialogue Reproduction: This one is a tad muddy due to constant movement and Copley’s accent, but it’s acceptable.


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Blu-ray comes with Digital HD Copy

Audio Commentary

  • With Director/Producer Ilya Naishuller (listen for the cop confrontation story!)
  • With Director/Producer Ilya Naishuller and Star/Executive Producer Sharlto Copley

Deleted Scenes (SD, 7:57) – You get a set of four more deleted sequences with a cool POV garage fight and more Copley in camouflage.

Fan Chat (SD, 12:25) – Director Ilya Naishuller and Star Sharlto Copley answer fan questions – love when Copley says if you don’t like the film just watch him! (Indeed!)


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Surprisingly a much better experience the second time around on the smaller screen with a lush picture and sound transfer to match – Henry has more hubris at home.

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I'm a passionate and opinionated film critic/movie journalist with over 20 years of experience in writing about film - now exclusively for WhySoBlu.com. Previous sites include nine years at Starpulse.com where I created Forgotten Friday Flick back in 2011, before that as Senior Entertainment Editor for The213.net and 213 Magazine, as well as a staff writer for JoBlo.com. My other love is doing cool events for the regular guy with my company Flicks For Fans alongside my friend, partner and Joblo.com writer James "Jimmy O" Oster. Check us out at www.Facebook.com/FlicksForFans.

3 Responses to “Hardcore Henry (Blu-ray Review)”

  1. Brian White

    I’d be lying to you if I said I wasn’t a tad curious about this. However, if you hate that found footage or first person camera perspective as much as I do, is it possible to still have fun with this one?

  2. Jason Coleman

    It is at home – and I am very tired of the first camera thing!

  3. Brian White

    Granted this one adds another dimensionality because of the action in this first person POV, but it just feels so cheap to me regardless of the budget. However, everyone has been telling me I need to see this. STX has been pretty solid thus far.