Monster Hunter is a franchise by Capcom that I was always interested in because of the dinosaur and dragon designs. The idea of hunting them just seemed really cool. Sadly the times I tried the game out with demos on Wii, 3DS and even Wii U, I always would fall asleep. Maybe it just wasn’t for me or perhaps through unforseen circumstances I always played the demo during the worst time that caused me to sleep regardless of what game I would’ve been playing. Nonetheless I’ve still always been curious about the franchise and while the games haven’t done it for me, I thought perhaps the movie could be something I could enjoy. There are currently two very different Monster Hunter movies, a CG japanese anime one and the American live action movie. How do they fare? It’s worth noting that I’m not familiar with Monster Hunter lore so certain aspects might not bother me as much as others.
Monster Hunter: The Hunt Begins
While the movie didn’t have a subtitle some international markets did add one with “The Hunt Begins” so I’ll just use that so it won’t have a generic name. The movie starts and feels like an 80s movie at times. Mixing real world present time and then moving to a fantasy world? What the heck where they thinking, this makes it feel like a video game movie that was made in the 90s that tried to ignore the game story and do its own thing. It’s probably taking a huge dump on the original games but at least I have to admit the concept is somewhat interesting. Milla looks good and has some good action scenes, she isn’t wearing an iconic revealing outfit which is a staple in her movies but she still looks young and looks good. The movie quickly loses steam since it’s too sow in the middle, but I like the interactions between Milla and the hunter.
I guess just like most movies from the 2010s, it’s too long. The music is pretty good and I love the creatures that they show in the world. The action is great and the monster fighting is well done. In that regard it’s a fantastic video game adaptation since it recreates tose elements in a fantastic way. Story is a bit ont he lame side of basic things. I enjoyed that they managed a movie without everyone speaking English, and they masked it in a way that it made sense. Artemis who is Millas character is done well enough, they wanted to recreate Alice from the Resident Evil movies. The fight in the real world was unneeded, the hunter was coola nd Ron Pearlman is never bad. The movie could’ve been better had it been shorter. The movie does feel like it’s from another era. The special effects are all great and it has a cool ending. In general the movie deserves more praise. Whatever you might think of the movie, unlike the Resident Evil movie franchise, here the games embraced Milla Jovovich and Captain Natalie Artemis and made her an actual playable character in one of the games, so forever and ever she will be part of the game canon.
Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild
This is a short movie at about 1 hour long and it’s anime CG, it actually looks good and it has a nice style. It looks like a video game actually which is perfectly fine because that’s what the franchise is. Monsters look a lot like dinosaurs here which is appreciated. The Voice acting is pretty bad and feels like those early 00’s kids cartoons with bad dubs. Talking Cats? WTF! We dont’ get a lot of context of the world which while a bummer it is not needed since it’s an adventure film. The mosnters in general are all cool and the general feel is like a FMV CG cutscene with some great CGi at times. I do love the neon RAVE colored mosnters.
And I mean ALL of them. One of my favorite characters is the fairy girl. In this short movie there’s lots of hunting which is nice. The story I can’t say is too engaging but at least the guild that they make has interesting characters which help the movies lack of a great plot. The main character being a generic rookie is the exception since he isnt that interesting. The movie benefits from being short since it would’ve been a chore to watch since there isn’t a great story arc to go through. In general the movie has nothing horrible about it but it also lacks anything to make it cool or stand out. Perhaps it did stick to the source material.
So we have two very different takes on the Monster Hunter franchise with these movies, both movies came out basically at the same time, whithin months. They didn’t create a franchise nor make the games more popular, but at least they exist. None of them are bad though I cant say they are classics of any type either. If you’re curious you’ll find them alright which is respectable and more than what I expected. Let’s see what the future of this franchise is.