He Never Died (2015) Directed by Jason Krawczyk. With Henry Rollins, Kate Greenhouse and Jordan Todosey.
From writer-director Jason Krawczyk, comes He Never Died, a supernatural crime-thriller starring Henry Rollins as a fallen angel called Jack. A good day for Jack is being untroubled by others. But even as he seeks solitude, he’s tormented by a hellish cacophony of sounds and voices in his head. Early on, Jack finds himself targeted by a pair of hired thugs, which sets about the story for this violent, sometimes darkly humorous oddity.
Former underground punk-rock hero, Rollins, is a good fit for the enigmatic Jack. There’s an unwavering inner determination about the man, that, coupled with a brooding intensity, makes him an instantly magnetic presence, even before he’s opened his mouth. Rollins plays it much in the same way Arnold Schwarzenegger did in the original Terminator; that robotic, cool menace, utterly unflappable in the face of danger.
The overall tone carries weighty amounts of grit and grunge, but is blended with a warmth, thanks to the presence of Kate Greenhouse as Cara, a waitress who Jack befriends…in a manner of speaking. We also learn that Jack has family ties, which are used prominently as a mechanism to drive the plot into the final act.
He Never Died might come a little unstuck by not rewarding us with much background detail, but then, it could be argued that Jack’s ambiguity is what allows the audience some space to ruminate. The story doesn’t stretch as far as your average Taken sequel, but it’s the equivocal nature of Rollins’s oddly compelling performance that gives the film its wings. 3/5