Vaginas are like coupon books for alcohol!
I often think of stories that I think would make interesting films, and over the years I have come up with a variety of different genres and ideas, and one a few years ago was of a man who did something several thousand years ago that he was cursed with immortality and forced to watch all those that he loves die, and then becoming emotionally detached as he realises the futility of starting new friendships and relationships. Of course I was never going to do anything with it……but it appears that someone else had pretty much the exact same idea as as soon as I saw the trailer for “He Never Died”, it looked exactly like what I had thought.
So here I am, a few days before the new year, writing a review for a film that interests me heavily and in the hopes that it won’t be awful….then again, I don’t go into films hoping that they’re awful, although as you would be able to see from my recent Bottom 10 of 2015, I do go into films expecting them to be bad.
Hopefully it won’t be the case with “He Never Died”….I guess we’ll have to wait and see.
Jack (Rollins) is misanthropic after being alive for several millenniums. He is impossible to kill and wounds heal in minutes. He has lost touch with all humanity and doesn’t care for interacting with anyone, whether it be Jeremy (Stewart), his supplier of a mysterious package from the hospital, former employer Alex (Ogg), or Cara (Greenhouse) a waitress who is quite clearly attracted to him.
One day a mysterious girl (Todosey) appears at his door before running off without saying anything. He soon gets a call from an ex-lover who reveals that the girl was actually his daughter. He goes in search with her, eventually finding her after she hooks up with a random stranger, he agrees to let her stay for a few days but resists any attempts to bond.
She is soon taken by mysterious gangsters and despite not really being interested in fatherly responsibilities, Jack goes in search of her.
As good as I’d hoped?
Well the good news is that it definitely wasn’t like my idea in many ways, so if I did choose to go with it then I could still do my film and not be accused of plagiarism (as far as I’m aware), and in that sense I was relieved and could just sit back and enjoy (or at least try to enjoy).
So let’s start with the ultimate problem with films such as this though is the main character. Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with Jack in most senses and Rollins does an excellent job portraying him, but when your main character can’t die, and doesn’t appear to feel pain, it’s hard to really get emotionally engaged. If you go into every situation knowing that the character is going to be fine then it takes a lot of the tension out, hell, he even spends a few scenes with bullet holes in the middle of his head.
That is my only real problem with “He Never Died”.
As mentioned above, Rollins is fantastic and wonderfully deadpan in his portrayal as Jack. The wit is brilliantly written and is the same type of sense of humour and automatic response mechanism that I have. For example, when he ex phones to ask what he did to piss Andrea off to the point where she disappears, he simply says “I opened the door and she ran off.” It’s so simple and yet so wonderfully appropriate and expertly delivered that I couldn’t help but chuckle. Infact that is pretty much the first fifteen to twenty minutes, and I can actually see myself being that grumpy when I reach the same sort of physical age that Jack is at (around 45-50).
Then we get onto the support cast. All do their job very competently, but there was one that caught my eye and it’s surprising given that his role is so minor. I was sat there for ages trying to figure out where I knew the actor who played Alex from, it was really bugging me, and then I realised that it was Steve Ogg portrayed Trevor in the critically acclaimed Grand Theft Auto 5. Ogg’s portrayal as Trevor was nigh on perfect, and whilst his role is considerably reduced, he successfully steals the scenes that he is in.
“He Never Died” looks fantastic and the soundtrack works to supplement what you’re seeing on screen,
“He Never Died” is a very enjoyable dark-comedy and has some excellent acting from Henry Rollins. He delivers a wonderfully dry performance that it really brings you into the disdain that the character has for the situation that he finds him in. The invincibility factor does make the scenes in which he’s fighting in slightly less engaging, but other than that he is an excellent character.
The film itself is very slick and stylish, whilst also staying humble throughout and the characters are written very well indeed. The dark comedy throughout and the writing is superb, and other that the invincibility thing, I couldn’t really find anything wrong with “He Never Died”.