Stupid but owning it and honestly not that stupid Monster hunter is the big, explosive action spectacle of the Christmas season. It’s not exactly the title I expected to win me over.
Expectations can of course be a whimsy thing. i went in Wonder Woman 1984 as excited as possible and it was a disaster. And the next day I switched this Paul W.S. Anderson video game customization awaits disaster … and it was far from.
Performed by his wife Milla Jovovich, who starred in his semi-entertaining but increasingly ridiculous role resident Evil Franchise, Monster hunter is about a group of soldiers who accidentally walk through a desert portal and find themselves in a world full of huge, deadly monsters. And Tony Jaa. Oh and Ron Perlman.
That’s it. That’s the act.
And that’s perfectly fine. Monster hunter is a sleek, mean, no-nonsense sci-fi action blockbuster, a respite from the gravity of 2020 and the tangled boredom of the other aforementioned “action” film releasing this Christmas. With great visual effects, bright colors and some formidable monsters Monster hunter keeps his promise to the audience and a few more. The action is pretty good as Anderson defies much of the silliness that many of his films succumb to. Yes, Jaa’s fighting skills are largely wasted, even deliberately obscured, in a movie like this, but the action is fun and easy to enjoy.
The film suffers from an increasing escalation of threats. Anderson could probably have stopped a monster or two sooner and the film would have benefited from that; Towards the end, it’s apparently nearing completion, only to reveal another, bigger monster. The non-stop approach wears you down after a while – the first half is more engaging while the second half is just action.
Jovovich is good as always. The role isn’t a challenge for her, having played this type of character in some way or form multiple times, but she’s one of those actresses who doesn’t get credit for dominating the screen like she does (mostly since she one has spent) I suppose a good chunk of her career starred in grade B action films.
Monster hunter It’s a lot of fun It could have so easily slipped into an over the top slopestyle – and it comes close a few times – but Anderson keeps things on track. Stupid, but not offensively slow. If you’re looking for pointless action this holiday season, you’ve come to the right place.
Rating by Erik Samdahl, unless otherwise stated.