Netflix Review: He Never Died

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freestocks 11SgH7U6TmI unsplash

Reviews of mostly good films you can stream while the cinemas are closed. Available to watch on Netflix, Jason Krawczyk’s  He Never Died invites a lot of comparisons to other movies but also manages to be defiantly its own thing. ‘Have you seen a young lady with a lip ring in here today?’ ‘What does she look like?’ ‘A young lady with a lip ring’ I really liked it, but you might initially wonder why, if you guys love the game of thrones bastard names then you should give it a try. 

The film follows a tough-guy loner, Jack, played by Henry Rollins, ‘What day is it?’ Steamrollering through the movie like a Terminator with fewer people skills, his personality summed up by the obligatory diner waitress love interest. ‘Walking, bingo and getting punched in the head – I know three things you like now.’ Jack has got into trouble with some local mobsters, ‘You know what, that’s not really an option.’ but also likes bingo. ‘You play bingo?’ and, as is standard with this type of film has an estranged daughter. 

‘Vaginas are like coupon books for alcohol’ And you just know the bad guys are going to use her against him. ‘I just wanted you to know, we are going to kill Andrea if you don’t show up at the docks.’ So far, so Taken, but Jack has more than a unique set of skills. From the opening we know there is something about Jack that goes beyond the ability to take a punch, something hinted at cleverly by the wall of sound backdrop suggesting his history. 

The reveal of exactly who and what Jack is is fine but not a lot of weight is placed on it, which I think acknowledges the fact that it doesn’t really matter. If Jack had turned out to be a malfunctioning Terminator who got stuck in our time and made himself at home it wouldn’t be that different a film. That plot twist that brings the film into Dark Corners territory is not what makes this special. Two things stop He Never Died from being just another brutal revenge thriller, firstly; this is the part Henry Rollins was born to play. 

‘You’re intimidating’ Secondly it is unexpectedly funny. #gunshot# ‘Again?’ with Rollins deadpan delivery absolutely perfect. ‘I need the man you’re killing’ Does it have a heart? ‘Don’t die before you get to your mother’s’ I think it does. Does it have action? It absolutely does. But its trump card is the way in which director and star handle what could have been a deeply cliched character. Jack is violent, practically emotionless, seldom seems genuinely in danger, and doesn’t care when he is or when anyone else is, and yet we follow him and care about what happens to him. ‘This could be bad’ I already said I liked this movie, I’ll say it again. It is bloody yet funny, tough but incredibly entertaining.


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