Film Review – Monster Hunter

Monster Hunter (M)

Directed by: Pail W. S. Anderson

Starring: Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Review by: Julian Wright

Husband and wife team Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich give the Resident Evil franchise a rest to tackle a new round of threats and by the looks, hopefully launch a new action packed franchise based on another video game.

While on a mission in a remote location, a military squadron led by US Army Ranger Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) is transported to another world that is over-run by a variety of species of monsters, none of which are friendly.

After her crew are wiped out in fairly quick succession, Artemis teams with a hunter (Tony Jaa), who has also been transported there from his own world, to battle the monsters and find their way back to their respective homes.

It is easy to dismiss this type of witless and senseless monster movie claptrap given how little plot there is – you could map it out all out on a finger nail and have room to spare – but if you know what you are in for and flick your brain to neutral, there is a chance you just may have some fun.

Short on plot but heavy on creatures, CGI and loud action, there is no mistaking Monster Hunter’s purpose for existing: to offer audiences a chance to enjoy a big, silly shoot ’em up that requires zero brain cells to comprehend. This is one instance where what you see is exactly what you get – it’s all in the title and on the poster.

The smartest thing this video game adaptation does do is pair up two characters from different worlds who do not speak the same language, ensuring that there is little dialogue for a large stretch of the story, giving director Anderson an opportunity to show rather than tell, and present a more interesting dynamic between heroes than this type of film usually deserves.

A lack of comes as a particular blessing after the first 15 minutes of the script has the military crew firing a million mind-numbing questions at each other about their situation, none of which, of course, have any answers to. “What happened to the desert?” is a doozy.

Jovovich is undeniably charismatic on the big-screen, whether she is swinging flaming swords through the air, hacking up monster limbs or in the lighter moments when she gives hunter his first taste of chocolate.

The movie making power couple’s hopes for a new franchise may be dashed though, this just simply doesn’t have the legs. We may see them come crawling back to the Resident Evil sooner than we thought.

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