Warning: video contains graphic violence
This is the moment gamers have been waiting for: a gaming film that may actually be good…
Hardcore, starring South African actor Sharlto Copley (District 9, The A-Team), is the first film to be shot entirely from the ‘POV’ (first-person point of view) style seen in video games a la Call of Duty, Halo and Doom. It is also the first full-length film to be shot using a Go Pro camera (equipment typically reserved for extreme sports).
Fans of video games haven’t been served well by the cinema thus far. Film versions of popular franchises such as Resident Evil and Silent Hill have failed to hit the mark, and while 2005’s adaptation of Doom impressed some, the rest of the world gave it the cold shoulder.
The audience “plays” Henry, a cyborg who must rescue his wife and creator from a telekinetic tyrant, by rescuing people and killing those who get in his way. Set in Moscow, it takes place over the course of one single day, with Copley’s posh-accented colonel Jimmy being Henry’s only means of support: “You can hear them, but you can’t shoot them. You can probably grenade them. Drop an egg down there, laddie.”
In all honesty, Hardcore is just as the name suggest – brutal. Violence can be easily downplayed and desensitised in video games, but this is not the case with real-action cinema. The film boasts an impressive attention to detail, from Henry abandoning used weapons, to hiding behind pillars and realistic blood splatters. Thankfully, the hand-to-hand combat is also a step up from its game counterparts – with the benefit of actors, rather than pixels, carrying out the dirty deeds.
Timur Bekmambetov, (the director of Wanted and Night Watch), together with short film creator Ilya Naishuller, are currently trying to raise $250,000 for post-production on the crowd fundraising site Indiegogo where Hardcore began its big-screen dream.