Thursday, September 01, 2016

What is the Opposite of Hardcore?

I met some very nice, very smart people during my brief two-year stint in film school, but there was this one dude who I couldn't stand - let's just call him Entitled Whity Number One, or EWNO for short. EWNO came into class convinced he knew everything, where "everything" in his language translated to him having more money to spend than the rest of us, the better to show off with, and show off was all he did. The short films he made during our time together (together is a bit strong - let's say adjacent, our time adjacent) were expensive and incoherent and loud and it was clear to me that if anybody in my class was going to be successful he was probably going to be successful because god he was terrible.

I thought a lot about him while watching Hardcore Henry, which is a garbage movie. It's the Crank movies (which are good movies!) told via first-person perspective, meaning it's a lot of people screaming directly at the camera, and the camera falling off buildings, and then leering directly at lots of breasts. The Crank movies are straight-dude movies too, but they're witty and cleverly offensive and Jason Statham is a deranged joy to watch. 

Hardcore Henry is anything but a joy to watch. It is a sexist slog, relentlessly derivative and just plain dull - it thinks it's reinvented the wheel but it's really just one long skid-mark instead. My film school professor would try to get EWNO to learn things about film technique - really basic things like editing and where to place the camera - but he wasn't having any of it, and Hardcore Henry feels like it's hot off the dick of some dude like him who doesn't need that shit. He is rewriting film language, all by himself - fuck one hundred years of cinema in the throat! 

Nobody is going to be looking at Hardcore Henry one hundred years from now to garner lessons about anything - this is not the new Battleship Potemkin, dude. It's the anti-clever, it's the anti-watchable, it is the anti-entertainment. It's a limp dick, dude. Your dick is sad and limp. Put it back in your pants and go home.

1 comment:

eL said...

I enjoyed it. I thought some of the gratuitous violence and action scenes were pretty clever. It's definitely dumb, but I'd call it dumb fun.