Monster Hunter Proves to Be a Guilty Pleasure Popcorn Flick


Milla Jovovich in a scene from ‘Monster Hunter’

Monster Hunter is the latest offering in the realm of film adaptations of video game franchises, and while the series isn’t well known in the United States it’s a smash hit in Asia and Japan. And now thanks to the new Monster Hunter: Rise game, out now on Nintendo Switch; the series has seemingly taken off here in America.

The film is directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, and stars his wife, actress Milla Jovovich, and this isn’t his first go around with video game adaptations. If you are familiar with his work, you’ll recognize him as the man behind the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie, the Resident Evil film franchise, Alien VS. Predator; and now Monster Hunter.

In this film, the world is divided into two realities. The reality that we live in, ‘Our World’ and the Monster Hunter realm simply called “New World”. The main character of ‘Artemis’, no first name mentioned, is played by Milla Jovovich, who with her military squad gets transported from the human world into the monster world. At first, they believe that they are lost in the desert, but quickly discover that they are in a new reality with gigantic Monsters. Along the way, Jovovich learns how to fight these Monsters and seeks for a way to return home; only to discover that fighting Monsters has become her calling in life, and completely ditches the Armed Forces.

What Monster Hunter succeeds at is knowing it’s demographic audience and delivers mindless entertainment that will appease anyone wanting to disconnect from reality for a couple of hours. The majority of the film’s desert location can appear tedious, but luckily the action sequences distract from the lack of greenery.

This film has created controversy since it’s release. There was upset in China after an apparently offensive joke was used in the film, and it has since been cut. Controversy aside, this film has both fans and critics divided and has received a mostly mixed response. It’s in no way a terrible movie, but it’s in no way the best video game adaptation. The director, Paul W.S. Anderson is no stranger to criticism, his Resident Evil films, also based on a video game, have received a mixed reaction from critics and fans of the games.

But if you’ve seen the works of Anderson then you understand his style of filmmaking and know what to expect walking in the theatre. The film is desperate for a sequel and not only ends on a cliffhanger, but includes a post credits scene a la Marvel. Monster Hunter may thrill fans of the game, but for the casual movie goer; one might not get much from this action flick.

Monster Hunter is out now on DVD, Blu-Ray, and wherever streaming is possible.