Monster Hunter – Movie Reviews by Ry!

Monster Hunter – Swords Adventure-less: A Mess of a Hunt

Film is a medium of endless possibilities.  No matter if you are a fan of action, suspense or coming-of-age stories, there is a greatness of escape into places unknown.  No matter if real or fictitious, you want to walk out with a sense of enjoyment.  Sometimes, that just doesn’t happen.  In this review, I look at a video game adaptation that tries to bring fun to the big screen.  With interesting lore, the journey takes a dramatic downwards turn.  Monster Hunter is a video game adaptation that represent the bane of the genre … pathetic of potential.

Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her troops get transported to another world.  In a desperate fight for survival, Artemis teams up with The Hunter (Tony Ja) to find a way back home.  Paul W.S. Anderson (writer/director) is known for his video game adaptations (Resident Evil Series).  With this new experiment, he lays a foundation where the real intersects fantasy through the main character.  The basic introduction to everything is done through a trivial manner, propping up aspect of the game’s lore through the cliché fish-out-of-water outline.  The film begins with Artemis (and team) getting trapped in an unknown world.  With no explanation of events, it turns into a mission of survival.  From the point of arrival, the journey becomes a repetitive highlight of genre tropes and monotone interactions.  Falling into the trap of style over substance, the dancing of genres (action/fantasy/horror) sacrifices any attempt to provide simple exposition, character depth or plot progression.  The first half is a generic display of world exploration, monster/CGI showcase and weapon designs (from the game).  With no substance, characters become lethargic, turning endearing moments and action sequences into a mess of potential.

As Artemis and The Hunter make their way through a montage of training/action sequences and monster mishaps, it leads us to another part of the world.  In this second half, there is some semblance of world building, adding credence to the typical ‘what and why’ answers that plagued a huge portion of the film.  As Artemis seeks passage back home, characters turn into plot fodder.  Coming to the final place of confrontation, the aspect of lore building becomes a sequence of visual noise.  The final act is a maniac display of shaky cam, overused CGI and explosions.  This leads to an anticlimactic triumph, ending in an epilogue of a potential sequel.  Monster Hunter is a film that falls into the bin of lost potential.  If you are a fan of the games or like fantasy, you might be curious, otherwise it is just noise on the TV.               

Full Score – 1.5 out of 5 (Noise on the TV)

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