film reel image

film reel image

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

John Henry 2020 * * 1/2 Stars

John HenryDirector: Will Forbes
Year: 2020
Rated R
Rating: * * 1/2 Stars
Cast: Terry Crews, Chris Bridges

John Henry (played with solid screen presence by Terry Crews) is a reserved man living in ghetto-bird Compton, California. When two immigrants flee the clutches of a street gang and wind up on his doorstep, John tries to protect them in any way he can (you gotta love the power of a good old sledgehammer). That's the gist of 2020's bloodstained and callous, John Henry. At a running time of 91 small-scale minutes that teeter into art film territory, it's my latest review.

Distributed by Saban Films, referencing The Human Centipede, and shot almost two years ago in palm treed LA, John Henry comes off as a sort of B-movie with a torrid, grindhouse effect. It's also like watching a lowly commercialized version of Menace II Society (or Baby Boy) mixed with a little Taxi Driver ("I'm God's lonely man").

Image result for john henry 2020 movie scenes"John Henry has rookie director Will Forbes using various camera angles (and POV shots) with an over-stylized flavor. He's ambitious, he's a bit of a show-off, and he commits his whole, mannered shtick to the background sounds of basement tape rap songs (which I kinda liked).

Will's editor (Joe Rosenbloom of 2018's Monster Party) fashions John Henry as choppy, random, and askew. Characters you think are dead wind up alive, various shootouts seemed squeamish yet ill-choreographed, and I didn't quite comprehend the use of VHS recorded flashbacks circa 1994.

Image result for john henry 2020 movie scenes"Oh well. John Henry has some decent casting (I liked the villain named Hell with part of his face cut off) and despite its shortcomings, possesses an effective way of making the viewer feel unsafe. "Henry" is overly violent, overly mean-spirited, slang-ed in dialogue, and bruised to the gills. I just wish helmer Forbes had tried to settle down and tell his story more systematically. "Oh Henry!" Rating: 2 and a half stars.

Written by Jesse Burleson

No comments:

Post a Comment