Some changes were made to this essay along the way to publication. Some were useful and added some clarity in spots. There were a few things that I would have preferred to stay in it that ended up on the cutting room floor, but the core argument remains the same about the way that the film deconstructs the standard "save the princess" narrative.
Also, as might be evident by now based on some of my more recent posts here, I am really in love with the Hardcore Henry soundtrack. The selections are interesting, and the way that they are used in the film (which includes, of all things, a rather brilliant little musical number) to match certain sequences' tones is really pretty brilliant.
I might end up writing a bit more about the film at some point, as there are other interesting things it does with video game tropes, like paralleling cloning with the concept of "extra lives," that seem like fruitful ground for discussion. We'll see, though. There's this business about presence and digital objects that is also kicking around in my brain as a result of a discussion I had on Friday that I may feel the need to get into instead, which has little to do with this film.