Monster Hunter (Anderson, 2020) Movie Review

Distributor: Screen Games (Worldwide), Constantin Film Verleih (Germany), Tencent Pictures/Huaxia Film Distribution (China) & Toho-Towa (Japan)
Production Companies: Constantin Film, AB, Digital Pictures, Tencent Pictures & Toho 
Director: Paul W. S. Anderson
Producers: Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Dennis Berardi, Robert Kulzer & Martin Moszkowicz
Scriptwriters: Paul W. S. Anderson
Main Cast: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Clifford “T.I.” Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung & Ron Perlman

Released: December 3rd, 2020

Running Time: 103 Minutes
Certificate: 12A

Based on the hit Japanese video game franchise (Monster Hunter), owned by Capcom,  the film hit cinemas at the start of the reduced covid isolations and regulations. Monster Hunter (Anderson, 2020) was drastically affected by this at the box office as working in a cinema at the time myself I can vouch the screenings for this film was empty. With the highest I saw being a measly 13 people. So, putting financial success aside is Monster Hunter a worthy adaptation of a beloved video game franchise. In this review I will be giving you my verdict whether or not Monster Hunter was a successful video game adaptation.

Plot of Monster Hunter

The story starts by following a U.S Army Ranger Captain Natalie Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and the rest of her United Nations security team searching for a team of missing soldiers. Suddenly, a storm appears and pulls them into a portal leaving Earth they find themselves on New World. Here they find the remains of the soldiers the team was searching for back on Earth.  What follows is multiple menacing monsters attacking the soldiers with more than a few fatalities. With one memorable death not being for the faint of heart, or those with a phobia of spiders. Me and my brother yelled out with full body shivers in the cinema when the chilling spider-related death occurred. I am being purposely vague as I don’t want to ruin the scene for any potential viewer as it was my favorite part of the film. With it leaving a very good lasting impression.

Meating the Hunter

As captain Artemis escapes the spiders, she encounters a hunter, simply donned the hunter (Tony Jaa). Paired with the skilled hunter the two eventually team up with the leader of a hunting clan (Ron Pearlman). The one the hunter is originally from. Together the three of them face a towering, midnight black magma breathing dragon like monster that’s guarding Artemis’ only way back home to Earth. Only when the three overcome the beast, she is free to go back.

Summary of Monster Hunter

Firstly, before critiquing the film too much, the actual titular monsters were nothing short of amazing. They engaged me and my brother into the sub-par film. Each time a new one roared or appeared on screen, we edged closer to our seats. The effects used to bring the monsters to life are extraordinary. Especially the eerie aforementioned death that definitely left a lastly impression. The cast: Jovovich, Jaa, and Pearlman are a treat to watch. With the former two sharing good chemistry, which is seen between the two as they communicate without talking initially. I also liked the risk Monster Hunter took, killing off most of the cast within the first act ,similar to Gunn’s recent Suicide Squad (Gunn, 2021), which is a risqué move but this film pulled it off.

Opinion of Monster Hunter

The just wasn’t anything else as memorable or as cinematic as the initial attacks on the army squad. Leaving you unfortunately left wanting more that never comes. The climatic final battle is well shot and edited yet doesn’t really remain as memorable as the scenes surrounding the arachnid-liked monsters. I do however hope film-maker Paul W. S. Anderson does get another chance as he was at least partially successful in bringing Resident Evil (2002-2016)  to the big screen. I will also love to see new adaptations of video game properties, particularly ones I have a passion for such as Monster Hunter.

Overall Score – 6 – Reasonable

Monster Hunter is available to rent and buy on Amazon Prime.