Plagued by a grindhouse title and your bottom-of-the barrel Netflix expectations, He Never Died has everything against it: a vague promise of cannibalism, second rate actors, and an opening scene during which the director instructed the sound engineer to go full blast “weird”. Fortunately, if one is attuned to language, the title is set in the past, which we discover at the end is quite immemorial; this is not your run-of-the-mill Jason Statham flick, situated in the present, or Heaven forbid, an even more grindhouse fare (with bloody letters and an exclamation mark!) that a post-modern writer-director would have spin to a lazy studio exec.
He Never Died is a good movie. Not only he never did, but he never does and will never do. He’s one of this cursed characters, unable to escape his fate, because this fate has been sealed shut for eternity. Whatever he tries to appease a vengeful God is bound to fail, even though the man with a funny hat can enjoy his haphazard treat.
Quite everything is delightful in this movie, from the mute, no-nonsense hero to the lovely scenes he manages to extract – with minimal effort – from his female co-stars, a rather conventional daughter and a glorious diner waitress. All men involved meet their prompt demise, because they are scum, the main villain having the worst encounter possible, condensed in just one, terrifying syllable.
Could have we done without the Biblical reference? Maybe. Does it make the movie in any way less enjoyable? Hell no. Watch it.