review by Bobby Blakey
I love all things Tony Jaa, so if he is involved I am all in. Team him up with Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich and director Paul. W.S. Anderson and there is the potential for another great new franchise with Monster Hunter based the video game of the same name. The films also features a great supporting cast including Tip 'T.I.' Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta, Josh Helman, Jin Au-Yeung and Ron Perlman. Could this film bring the monster fun fans hope for or will it fail to breathe fire into this new possible franchise?
Monster Hunter follows a world behind our own filled with dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When Lt. Artemis and her elite unit are transported through a portal from our world to a new world, they are in for the shock of their lives. In her desperate attempt to get home, the brave lieutenant encounters a mysterious hunter, whose unique skills have allowed him to survive in this hostile land. Faced with relentless and terrifying attacks from the monsters, the warriors team up to fight back and find a way home.
I can’t lie, I was pretty stoked to see this movie. It looked to have everything I wanted in kaiju type monsters, action and of course Tony Jaa and it delivered just that. This movie is exactly what I expected it to be and I had a ton of fun with it. Jovovich has already established herself as a capable action star and easy to buy into her in this role. Like her or not she always brings a strong presence to these kinds of characters and here is no different. This is nothing overly new for Jaa either outside of the more fantasy element and he is perfectly utilized here.
Despite them speaking different languages in the film reminding me of films like Enemy Mine, they have great chemistry despite not being able to verbally communicate. It also opens up the chance to pit these two in fights against giant monsters and each other. I tend to have an issue buying into fights
between people like Jaa who is skilled in real life and straight up actors a lot of the time, but Jovovich sells it so well it just works. They are not full on martial arts fights but fully utilized Jaa’s skills to please this fan. On the monster front
there is a ton of action but surprising not as many variety as I thought there would be. Not sure how much if any look in comparison to the game, but I really dug the designs.
The rest of the cast are fine, but to be honest aren’t around for most of the film to really affect it one way or another for me. This is all about the creatures, Jovovich and Jaa. I will say I was a bit put off by the wig that Ron Perlman was sporting because it just looked a little silly, but they were clearly trying to give him a specific different look. In the end this is just another fun popcorn flick that I had fun with. It ends clearly hoping to set up a franchise which lends itself to so much more fun, but not sure it will get the numbers thanks to the current pandemic. Only time will tell, but I am all for more Jovovich and Jaa kicking monster ass in the future.
In addition to the film this release also features bonus content including deleted scenes and featurettes on bringing this flick to life. Grab your copy of Monster Hunter available now on digital, 4K Ultra, Blu-ray and DVD from Sony Home Entertainment.