Monster Hunter follows a group of soldiers who are suddenly sent through a portal that drops them into a dimension home to massive, bloodthirsty monsters.
Monster Hunter Review
This movie is absolutely no surprise. It is essentially a PG-13 Monster Hunter variant of every Paul WS Anderson movie not named Event Horizon. If you are one of the masses within the cult of diehard Resident Evil fans, you will probably enjoy Monster Hunter as well. If you found those sequels to become increasingly bloated, bland, and embarrassing despite their self-awareness and you simply couldn't comprehend how these films keep getting made, then Monster Hunter may be a struggle for you.
I am somewhere in between. I rather enjoyed the first Resident Evil and found even the sequel had its moments, but after that it was a sharp decline with each proceeding sequel to the point that I gave up on the franchise unless it popped up on a streaming service and I wanted some fresh background noise (basically the equivalent of the Purge franchise). So I am very aware that Anderson peaked with Event Horizon way back in '97 and I have come to expect just exactly what Monster Hunter would be.
I am a fan of the Monster Hunter video game franchise, but I limited my expectations for the film, even with Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, and Ron Perlman attached, because Anderson was sure to bring his incredibly bland and corny writing and excessive use of slow-mo action shots and forgettable set pieces. Sadly, this film hits spot-on with all expectations, but I suppose that means I at least was not disappointed.
Because I know that Anderson is likely not to surprise at this point in his directing career, I went in hoping to see some awesome monster mayhem, and there was plenty of that. I enjoyed the Diablos and Rathalos moments, of which there are plenty, but from a personal perspective, Nerscylla received a bit too much screentime, and the lack of attention to other species was a bit of a letdown. And the film featured the same struggle common in the Godzilla films in which the creators fail to realize that with the quality of writing available, the less screentime devoted to "character development" the better. But when it comes to "origin stories" lining up for a potential franchise (it looks like Anderson is aiming for his next direct-to-video franchise following Resident Evil), it makes sense they wouldn't throw a ton of monster cameos at us while trying to establish some semblance of a premise.
So, did this movie do enough with the monster mayhem to encourage me to watch the potential sequel(s)? I think so. I have no interest in where the "plot" is headed and even with fun actors in front of the camera, I have nothing invested in the characters. But would I mind seeing a Glavenus slice through a group of hunters or an invading Bazelgeuse drop its bodily mines onto an unsuspecting platoon? Not at all. I could watch that. I just may have to fast forward through the rest of what the poor man's Michael Bay apparently calls a "script". To simplify...was it entertaining? Yes. Was it a good movie? Laughably no.
Horror Rating System
Horror Qualifier: 6/10
Horror Quality: 3/10
Film Quality: 4/10