Marco Filice's picture
Marco Filice from Hamilton is reading Adjustment Day- CP April 21, 2016 - 6:05pm

If you go to www.rottentomatoes.com, you will see that the innovative action movie tampers with the first-person POV quite extraordinarily. On the film reviews site of said name, and others such as www.IMDb.com and www.metacritic.com, neither site attributes a score above the 70% mark(1). Could this be an innate prejudice against the possibility of action movies ever acquiring the respect that is commonly paid to dramas? Or perhaps the semantic import and brevity of its story, very strange indeed that it is, totally escaped the conventional eye?

Maybe the movie's low score is for both of those reasons, a meaning inclusive of but not constrained by them.

This little flash of insight came to me last night in the cinema. Without spoiling it for you, let me say that if the facelessness, negation, and nothingness of the main character ever had its own subgenre in storytelling, then the film Hardcore Henry portrays it not only aesthetically pleasing to the filmgoer's perception (the movie is, for me, nothing but an hour and twenty-six minutes of adrenaline; the climax is even induced by adrenaline needles!), but philosophically to the audience's imagination by reflecting through the interdimensional surface of the fourth wall. 

If you've seen the movie, I'd enjoy reading your comments about it :)

 

 

1. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/hardcore_henry/http://www.imdb.com/title/tt3072482/?ref_=nv_sr_1http://www.metacritic.com/movie/hardcore-henry.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 22, 2016 - 9:32am

philosophically reflecting through interdimensional walls...

...

or they're just doing a first person shooter style movie.

Marco Filice's picture
Marco Filice from Hamilton is reading Adjustment Day- CP April 22, 2016 - 10:31pm

"or they're just doing a first person shooter style movie".......

.....which addresses directly the medium through which art comes into being: the only time we see Henry's face is not even as a complete image--for the mirror is dirty and blots out some of the image's contours--but Henry achieves catharsis by seeing his own eyes.

That is, seeing himself as disembodied eyes. If the movie's plot led to this idea, well, the idea also ontologically applies to any audience viewing any kind of motion picture. 

Henry realized himself as viewing his own life; reality is itself a motion picture.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 23, 2016 - 9:32am

Can you say that again without all the big obscure words?

Also, I didn't see it yet, was it not just a giant action-fest?

Marco Filice's picture
Marco Filice from Hamilton is reading Adjustment Day- CP April 23, 2016 - 1:23pm

Basically what I mean is that the movie in the end breaks the fourth wall and connects with the audience (if you haven't seen it I'm not sure I should mention details). How it does this, though, is kind of like a summary of what has transpired in the story so far: throughout the entire movie, we don't see Henry's face, but more importantly, neither does he; yet, he fully realizes who he is once he glimpses himself in the mirror, and he doesn't even see his whole face but just his eyes. 

Now, if the writer has a philosophical understanding of what s/he is writing, certain concepts will be kept in mind. For example, art is known as our reflective mirror into nature; it shows us who we are within the same frame we have created to represent ourselves in. The mirror's frame, being art (novels, movies, paintings, sculture, etc.) is the medium which contains the content being seen, that is, our own selves, subjectivity itself. In Henry's case, he sees himself, but he's looking through the mirror and directly at the camera because his eyes are the camera. And it's the audience that is viewing his life through his eyes. WE are Henry; and the moment he becomes who he really is (Tim Roth's speech) is the only time in the story he sees himself/us. 

Yes, it is an action fest, but there's more going on. It's like a homage to the action film genre, including first-person shooter games, while saying something deeper. Just because it's an action film, doesn't mean it can't have philosophical import.

jyh's picture
jyh from VA is reading whatever he feels like April 23, 2016 - 6:20pm

I actually wanted to see it, but it's already gone from my local. Puny small screen it is, then.

Thuggish's picture
Thuggish from Vegas is reading Day of the Jackal April 25, 2016 - 7:42pm

Yeah big fat flop and a half, and I was mildly curious...