Reed Alexander's Review of 'He Never Died' (2015)
Another Shameless Fanboy Review...
HENRY MOTHER FUCKEN ROLLINS!!! Yeah, I was likely going to eat this movie up even if it was a total wash, but I did make the best, albeit half-assed, attempt to look at the movie objectively and see past my man crush on Uncle Hank. So I took this movie for what it was, for what it was, and it was pretty good. There was solid action, pretty good acting, funny at times, and it certainly didn't take itself too seriously.
I know I don't usually do action, and hell, I don't really like action, but fuck man, Henry Rollins. *sigh* I'm so fucking tragic. Okay, so do like I did and take this movie for what it is — a dark comedy with lots of violence. Go in expecting that and nothing more. That way, even if you don't get a man boner over Rollins, you'll like this movie.
That being said, it is my job to shit all over things people poured hours of tears and sweat into...
SPOILERS!!! No seriously, you really don't want to read past this point. You want to go watch the movie and then if you'd like, come back and read this. No seriously, fuck off and go watch the damn movie! You won't be disappointed!
There was no real struggle in this movie other than "Jack's" social life. I mean, I understand that's the movie is about Rollins' character Jack trying and failing to ignore humanity. I understand that the plot is essentially Jack not being entirely sure what to do with himself, or how to deal with people. But my point is, beyond that, inside the overarching plot, there is no struggle. He's beyond Superman. I mean, at one point they slip him a mickey and knock him out, but then he just wakes up and kills lots of people. Now, it's clear he can be hurt and that, likely, enough damage could at least incapacitate him, but he's a true immortal. Even a bullet right through the skull doesn't phase him. So, it's never really made clear if there is any limit to the punishment he can handle, or where that threshold might lay.
And here's what really bothered me. Part of the plot is Jack discovering that he has a daughter. She ends up getting kidnapped, and they could have used the fact to eventually create a moment of weakness for him. Her mortality could have been used against him. So, why not? I know it was never clear if he cared for the right reasons (I mean, there was a scene where he basically just ignored the fact that she'd been kidnapped for a good couple of hours), but something caused him to care enough. Here, they could have explored what was left of his humanity and maybe his vulnerability. I just don't like superheroes with no real weakness. I know that's not where they were going but, fuck, why not?
And there was so much undeveloped. Why could his daughter see 'the mysterious man in black' (obvious devil trope)? Why not have her go Kain style agro and help out her dad? That would have been pretty fucking cool.
Rollins comes in, expects to bring the punishment, they threaten the life of his daughter, he submits, and she reaches deep and pulls out a bit of her dad's genes and fucks everyone up. I've got to admit, that does sound cheesy as fuck, but it would have been something.
In conclusion, the movie had its problems, but it was fun, even funny at times, with solid story, great atmosphere, and a simple plot that was done just right. If you've read this up to this point and didn't watch the movie first, shame on you. Now go buy six copies as penance!