This movie was NOT made for domestic US audiences, what we have here is yet another cash grab for the Chinese overseas audiences which will likely never see a return on it’s investment due to China shutting down theaters.
I’m beginning to think the only person who will employ Milla Jovovich as a leading lady in 2020 is her husband Paul W. S. Anderson. After finally being dumped from the Resident Evil franchise, the duo is back to sink their teeth into another popular Capcom franchise ‘Monster Hunter’. Whenever you see a film about a giant monster in today’s day and age, you can take to the bank that a major studio is trying to cash in on either Japan or China and this film is no different.
Monster Hunter begins with a story about a progressively diverse Army squad led by Ranger Captain Artemis (Jovovich). One day after scouting the desert, the team is blindsided by a massive storm that sends them through a portal to another world that is populated by giant deadly monsters. As they fight for survival they find a monster hunter (Tony Jaa) who teaches them how to survive in the world long enough to find a way home.
It won’t take long to figure out that you are watching a Paul W. S. Anderson film when you are treated to jarring amounts of shaky cam within seconds that take you out of the film. After a couple of minutes of the shakes, you will also find yourself asking the question “What is happening right now?”
I’m not a fan of Monster Hunter so I can tell you from an outsider’s perspective, you won’t get a proper understanding of the universe this film is under. Characters move to another dimension and are instantly attacked by giant worms and spiders who move within the desert sand. What makes this film hard to follow is the fact that it is edited and presented as if there are three separate films in one.
The 1st act follows a squad of Army Soldiers who don’t get any character development because none of them will make it to the 2nd act anyway. By act 2, the film became a buddy survival film with Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa who have as much chemistry as pure sodium and water. After taking about 30 minutes to get Jaa’s character to smile, you are left with the 3rd act of a giant monster fighting an entire military fleet with high tech weapons who are wiped out while a woman with a boomerang saves the day.
The film is even arrogant enough to set up a sequel that I’m sure will never see the light of day. Monster Hunter makes the Pacific Rim movies look like a classic Godzilla film by comparison. The effort is just poor all the way around and a message to Hollywood, stop trying to make rapper T.I. an actor…just…no.