I dunno about you, but I’m not all that excited about this one.
The new Monster Hunter movie is based on the critically acclaimed franchise owned by Capcom, in which players hunt giant monsters to upgrade their weapons and armor to hunt more powerful monsters, all for the sake of preserving the fragile ecosystem maintained by the monsters and the people who hunt them.
This movie has nothing to do with that.
Instead, the main plot seems to revolve around Captain Artemis (played by Milla Jovovich, the director’s wife) and her unit (TI Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) and their misadventures with ancient portals leading them to the main setting of Monster Hunter. They struggle to use modern weapons against these monsters and have to adapt to the new world’s own rules and weapons to survive long enough to get back home.
It’s an interesting premise, but this feels too similar to basically any crossover episode involving two different settings colliding in a haphazard fashion. This makes the movie seem much less entertaining, as it follows the trope a little too closely, and it’s not so much as a Monster Hunter movie as it is a premise for a DLC mission for the game itself (which has already been done in almost the same way, only with Geralt from The Witcher rather than the military).
There’s also the jarring difference between the military and the hunters themselves, which is probably intentional, in the favor of alienating the viewers and making them feel like they’re also being transported to another world. But movies already *do* that, don’t they? It feels like it’s catering a bit too hard to the crossover aspect than truly being just about Monster Hunter.
Another gripe I have about this is how big the monsters are. You’d think it’s something like they made them too small due to budget constraints, right? Nope. They actually made them too big! I *hope* that’s something involved with the story itself, as weird anatomy changes and new species coming from nowhere isn’t unheard of in the game itself, but the trailer doesn’t seem to put much focus on that.
From what I can see in the trailer, I do see a few things they’ve done right, at least. For example, the monsters’ behavior and appearance. Diablos, the underground wyvern that uses its massive horns to attack, prefers to ambush its prey and attack from below, while Rathalos, the fire-breathing dragon you can see towards the end, is considered the “King of the Skies” and is very territorial, especially against things traversing in its domain. The monsters shown look especially on-model and I appreciate that. The scale is the only issue they have, which might even be answered in the movie.
Another detail is the weapons the hunters use, like the bow and the dual blades featured in the trailer. The actors use them appropriately for the content, even doing certain poses to activate abilities vital to using the weapons to their fullest potential in the game, and even using attacks players would use in the game. It’s clear that the actors did their homework here.
I’m still not personally excited about this film, but if I absolutely had to, I’d rather pay the actors directly if it came to me paying for this movie. The actors put their heart into this, and it hurts to know that the director is so willing to rely on unnecessary tropes instead of those that would be more appropriate. If they didn’t bother with the military being transported here and instead focus only on the world of Monster Hunter, I think the movie would have been better for it.