Monster Hunter Movie Review

You’re welcome! And yes, the Monster Hunter movie review has been a long and anticipated project for me. One that I’ve been waiting for this entire horrible, no good 2020. And since I already wrote about Paul W.S. Anderson’s previous works (The Resident Evil movies, and yes Mortal Kombat)…. It’s time for Monster Hunter. The latest video game adaptation from Anderson and his wife. Milla Jovovich, of course. And yes, another video game adaptation from Capcom that Anderson got to direct.

A Long Overdue Monster Hunter Movie Review

After the constant postponing of the movie (thanks to Covid-19), it finally saw the light of the day. This past December. Which is awesome because I already mentioned how much I’m looking forward to watching it. Right here at IndieGala too. I spoke about the hype and the aforementioned delays. But since it’s already out, I thought it’s a good idea to share my impressions. However, before I could go on any further with this post, I also think it’s a good idea to mention a thing or two about the game series.

Monster Hunter Series VS Monster Hunter Movie Review

Developed and published by Capcom, Monster Hunter is an iconic game series for the company. Ever, since the first Monster Hunter game back in 2004. A fantasy RPG in its core, Monster Hunter has been a dream of Hollywood for decades. A movie adaptation that is. And since Capcom had faith in Anderson for years now… The collaboration continued well after the Resident Evil movie series.

And yes, it goes without saying that we have both Monster Hunter: World and its expansion, Monster Hunter Iceborne, here at IndieGala. Additionally, they’re both on sale, but that sale is not going to last that much longer. Hurry up and get it while it’s hot people, and yes. Treat yourself.

I mean here is a Steam comment that sums Monster Hunter World well:

A dragon murder sim with excellent taste in clothes. – said Mcphilly

However… What about the movie adaptation?

Is Monster Hunter Any Good?

Well, the short answer to that question is no. But at the same time, it’s a mindless, action frenzy of a movie that you can expect from Paul W.S. Anderson. A popcorn type of a movie that you watch once and forget about it, like 15 minutes later. But if you’re a fan of the games, the poor quality of the movie is gonna sting. However, to the regular Joe (like myself) I think it’s part of the charm actually.

Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa

At least you know what you’re getting yourself into. If you’ve seen a fair amount of Paul W.S. Anderson movies before. And if you’re clear on that notion from the start, you’re not going to get a huge letdown. Because let’s face it. There’s nothing deep in this movie. If you’re into that then I’m sorry. You’re not gonna find it here. But let’s try and dig deeper into this movie. Because what a Monster Hunter movie review is if not an attempt of digging deep?

Milla Jovovich is Ranger Captain Natalie Artemis here. Along with the rest of her team, she will somehow fall through a mysterious portal, and eventually, end up in a strange world. A world that’s barren and populated with vicious monsters. Over there she’ll team up with an equally mysterious hunter (Tony Jaa) in order to slay some of the aforementioned monsters. And find her way back home. Oh, and she’ll hook him up on chocolate, but that’s the only interesting thing about both of them.

Monster Hunter Movie Review
Still from Monster Hunter

Underdeveloped Everything?

Pretty much. Except for some of the decent CGI, everything else is severely underdeveloped. The characters, the plot, production design. Not to mention the acting efforts from most of the cast. Yes, even the editing is sub-par. Oh my god, the editing. It’s frantic, all over the place and head-ache inducing. But even that signals your brain that it’s a Paul W.S. Anderson movie that you’re watching. The cuts are brutal, but you end up comforting your brain near the end of each of those scenes. Calm down. I saw it coming. Just calm down.

To be perfectly honest, it’s fairly similar to any other Anderson flick in the past 2 decades. Give or take, but yeah, there’s very little new to notice here. It has very little to do with the original material (video games), it’s mind-boggling/hilarious at times. And of course, it’s a driving vehicle for Milla Jovovich’s career. Everyone else is pushed to the side. There are some supporting characters here sure (hey even a giant cat which I’m guessing is Palico). But they’re either abandoned after 30 minutes or so. Or they appear at the last 30 minutes of runtime. And in the second bracket, I would put the great Ron Perlman and his character. The Admiral.

Monster Hunter Movie Review
Ron Perlman in Monster Hunter

Sadly he’s here to provide some of the much-needed exposition in the last act. And not much else. Speaking of underdeveloped characters….Tony Jaa’s character could have been awesome. Iconic. Even without much of a logical dialogue, I might add. But nope. The OG hunter in the Monster Hunter movie is reduced to a very boring character that basically brings nothing to the table. Oh, he likes chocolate! There! Here’s one thing that I remember about him. Phew.

Yup. Milla’s Character Is Severely Underdeveloped Too

The thing is… Natalie is severely underdeveloped too. Hardly a surprise, am I right?. She’s basically a one-dimensional character that you not only know nothing about…. You will continue to know nothing about her too. Here’s an example of that. At the start of the movie, she shows us a wedding ring that she keeps in a small tin box. From her gestures, we see that it’s meaningful to her. And that’s great. It’s a good start I thought. Hey, it might tell us something about her. However…. We don’t get an explanation about that (let’s go with prop) and it’s never mentioned again. Is she a widow? Is she divorced? Whom did that ring belong to? I have no idea. I really don’t.

Monster Hunter Movie Review
Milla in Monster Hunter

Decent Action And Stretched Out Ending

Oh, how this movie wants to have a sequel. Anderson too desperately wants a sequel, hence the teasing at the end. And speaking of the end, getting to the final minutes, felt as if I was watching a 4-hour movie. Not a 90 minute one. Oh, watching Monster Hunter felt like a long tedious exercise of my patience. Even with the decent action scenes I mentioned, and fairly satisfactory CGI, Monster Hunter felt way longer than it actually is.

What’s Your Monster Hunter Movie Review?

All in all, Monster Hunter is a bad movie. Empty, devoid of any depth or development. With frantic editing and the all too familiar Paul W.S. Anderson style of direction. Aside from the video game in question, and some of the cast there’s nothing new for us. The same lead actress, the same cheap tricks from Anderson and the same poor quality at the end. But I’d love to know your opinion of the Monster Hunter movie. Do you actually like it? Or it’s also a had pass? Let us know. We’d love to know all about it.

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