As John C. Reilly says in “Talladega Nights,” violent video games and violent cinema go together like cocaine and waffles.
Toronto audiences responded with like enthusiasm, awarding the People’s Choice Midnight Madness Award to Ilya Naishuller’s “Hardcore,” which through the lens of GoPro video cameras, puts us into a virtual reality scenario, literally through the eyes of cyborg protagonist Henry as he battles murderously for freedom. Here’s the synopsis:
Produced by Timur Bekmambetov (“Night Watch,” “Wanted,” “Unfriended”), “Hardcore” is told entirely from the point of view of a cyborg named Henry. Resurrected with no recollection of his past, Henry (the audience) and his ally, Jimmy (Sharlto Copley, “District 9”) must fight through the streets of Moscow in pursuit of Henry’s kidnapped wife in the world’s first action-adventure film to be shot 100% from the first person perspective. Naishuller also wrote and produced “Hardcore.” Producers are Timur Bekmambetov, Inga Vainshtein Smith and Ekaterina Kononeko.
The gritty POV action-thriller nabbed decent reviews out of Toronto, with Variety writing “Whether you find this vidgame-like testosterone explosion exhilarating or exhausting may largely be a generational matter. But certainly fanboy types are going to make this Russia-U.S. coprod a cult item.”
Rookie distributor STX Entertainment will release the film stateside. Check out the short that inspired “Hardcore,” “Bad Motherfucker,” here.