Monster Hunter is an American-Chinese-Japanese-Canadian fantasy action film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson, produced by Jeremy Bolt, Paul W. S. Anderson, Dennis Berardi, Robert Kulzer and Martin Moszkowicz and written by Paul W. S. Anderson. The film stars Ukrainian-American actress, model and musician Milla Jovovich, Thai martial artist, actor, action choreographer, stuntman, director and former Buddhist monk Tony Jaa, American rapper, singer, songwriter, actor, record producer and entrepreneur Tip "T. I." Harris, American actress and model Meagan Good, Mexican singer and actor Diego Boneta, Australian actor Josh Helman, Chinese-American rapper, songwriter and actor Jin Au-Yeung, American actor and voice actor Ron Perlman and Japanese actress Hirona Yamazaki.
It was released in December 2020 in the United States, and serves as a spin-off adaptation to the video game franchise and the original game of the same name.
Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit (Tip "T.I." Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Ron Perlman). Facing a danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown.
Why The Monsters Don't Hunt
- To make things pure and simple, the movie is extremely unfaithful to its source material, much like the Super Mario Bros. movie. It modernizes most of it with the use of modern military weapons in the beginning. This heavily contradicts the franchise's fantasy and medieval roots completely. For starters, the Diablos and Rathalos act nothing like their video game counterparts.
- The Rathalos is seen as a brainless hungry beast that kills things for fun, yet in the games, it was smart and only attacked when creatures went into its territory.
- The Diablos is carnivorous in this movie, yet in the games, it is strictly herbivorous.
- Popular flagship monsters like Rathian and Tigrex are completely foreshadowed.
- The Rathalos' legs are too long, and its wings are too small. Not to mention, it is quadrupedal, when it stood on two legs. Its talons are not poisonous in this movie either.
- For some reason, universes are colliding in this, and the plot ends up becoming convoluted.
- The Gore Magala, one of the most dangerous wyverns of all time in the MH lore, is literally just a generic dragon in this and only acts as a hook for a non-existent sequel.
- The Apceros act more like Aptonoths.
- The Shrouded Nerscyllas are literally just generic spider monsters that act like Xenomorphs, right down to turning their prey into living nests for their eggs, something they do NOT do in the games. They don't even wear Khezu hides in the slightest.
- The Rathalos is described as nearly impossible to kill, despite the fact there are monsters in the games that make the Rathalos look tame by comparison, and that's not even counting the Elder Dragons.
- Terrible acting from Milla Jovovich, who was cast into it due to nepotism by her husband Paul W. S. Anderson, who directed the film.
- The movie focuses too much on feminism, which left a bad taste in a lot of Monster Hunter fans' mouths. An example of this is Captain Artemis (the main character) calling the male soldiers "ladies" and obsessing over her wedding ring, all of which are at the beginning of the film.
- Speaking of Artemis and the male soldiers, when they were in Artemis's team, they made so many dumb decisions they got killed extremely fast. No wonder why Artemis is the only survivor in her team.
- Even though Artemis is the main character in the movie, its deuteragonist The Hunter received more attention and screentime than Artemis herself. In fact, if both of them switched roles, it wouldn't make a difference to the film at all.
- Lack of character development for all the characters, especially Artemis and The Hunter.
- Lots of filler due to the language barrier between Artemis and The Hunter as they struggle to understand each other.
- The Admiral looks really weird and completely different from his World appearance thanks to a badly-fitting wig on his actor Ron Perlman's head.
- Plot hole: How in Astera can the Admiral speak perfect English but not The Hunter?
- Horrible CGI for the titular monsters that the main characters have to take down. The movements are clunky, and the CGI details for the backgrounds are very poor and lazy. The tanks are especially awful. The worst part being the blood, which looks abysmal.
- Pacing issues.
- Bad editing that overuse jump cuts.
- The movie can be confusing for newcomers to the Monster Hunter franchise as it expects you to already know its practically non-existent lore before watching it.
- The infamous "Chi-knees" joke. Thankfully, it was deleted at the very last minute before its American release after it gained controversy during screenings in China.
- It continued the decline of Paul W. S. Anderson's career, following the failure of Resident Evil: The Final Chapter.
- Stupid, corny, and poorly-written dialogue that is mind-numbingly dumb. For example, "So like, are we Guardians of the Galaxy or something?".
- Pointless boring talk scenes that do not contribute to the plot and are only there for filler.
- It's responsible for bringing back the video game movie curse.
- It's overall quality can be compared with that of the Battleship movie.
- The palico, one of the franchises mascot, is briefly seen in the movie and looks notably different from his game counterpart. On top of that, there is only ONE Palico. Not even the Hunter has one.
- Because of the movie's overall quality, this actually broke a streak of good video game movies which consisted of Pokémon Detective Pikachu (2019), The Angry Birds Movie 2, and Sonic the Hedgehog (2020). This led people to believe that this brought back the infamous video game movie curse after the three examples above have "broken the curse". It had to take Sonic the Hedgehog 2 (2022) to undo the damage.
- Although legitimately awesome, the music score is pretty unfitting, as it has a somewhat Tron-esque style that uses both electronica and orchestra. The MH games (except for World) have always had a dominantly orchestral style, so hearing music that uses synth music just doesn't fit very well.
- None of the classic Monster Hunter themes are played. Not even "Proof of a Hero".
- Despite the awful CGI, some of the Monsters look decent, and some others look quite great. The Rathalos in particular, despite the inaccuracies in its model, looks really cool.
- Lots of Easter eggs and references that will satisfy long-time Monster Hunter fans.
- Although rather unfitting as said in BQ#21, the soundtrack is epic and amazing, and easily one of the best things about this movie. The main theme "Worlds Beyond Our Senses" stands out in particular.
- The cheesy dialogue can sometimes be unintentionally pretty funny.
- Some of the action sequences are very good and tense.
- A few funny jokes here and there, most notably the gag where the Hunter calls anything he likes "chocolate".
- Some of the background sets are pretty and good to look at.
Monster Hunter received mixed reviews from critics and overwhelmingly negative reviews from Monster Hunter fans, with praise for its action sequences and visual effects but criticism for its direction and editing.
On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 47% based on 34 reviews, with an average rating of 4.6/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Monster Hunter is mostly a mindless blur of action, held together by the slenderest threads of dialogue and plot -- and exactly what many viewers will be looking for.".
On Metacritic, the movie has a critic rating of 40/100.
GameSpot gave the game a 5/10, praising its monster and world design, monster battles and Easter eggs and references to the games while criticising its expositions, bad characters, Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman's wasted talents and bad story.
Because of this movie, toxic Monster Hunter fans review-bombed Monster Hunter World to show their hate for the movie despite the game having nothing to do with it.