The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) premiered an ambitious action movie by Russian director Ilya Naishuller called Hardcore, a first person feature length action movie and it certainly will set the tone for future action movies shot in similar ways. Over the last decade we’ve seen a lot of new ways to shoot movies, and with YouTube content creators paving the way in first person, 3D and interactive experiences – it’s naturally only a matter of time before bigger budgets allow for these niche creations to hit the big screen.
Hardcore is a movie that’s shot entirely in first person, much like what you would experience in a FPS video game, but this is live action and with it comes a lot of challenges that you normally wouldn’t have with a traditional movie shoot. Ilya Naishuller actually shot a short action flick back in 2013 called Bad Motherfucker which was the inspiration and desire to create the feature length – which he successfully funded via IndieGogo. That brought on a bigger mogul, Timur Bekmambetov who signed on as producer and a major movie started to come together.
The movie is fast paced, unending action, loud and full of thrills and excitement. In order to keep the action going, you learn early on that our eyes are that of a cyborg super soldier who no longer has the ability to speak. The plot rolls along smoothly and keeps the story moving forward, but it’s really the action that drives the movie. The rare calm scenes help you catch your breath and relax your beating heart before moving on to the next sequence. The film also manages to generate some laughs, and will surely appease all action fans. It will also set the stage for other similar films, and sequences in movies in the future. Best of all, it gives us a glimpse into what is to come. Much like how Blair Witch Project created the shaky camera/real life shot style in 1999 and was made into an incredibly shot film in Cloverfield a decade later, Hardcore is probably a stepping stone to 3D immersive experience where in the future you can literally be in the movie with the freedom to look around the environment yourself.