I’m assuming you’ve most of you have seen the “bad” trailer for Sony Pictures upcoming live-action Monster Hunter film. There are, believe it or not, a couple of trailers for it. The “bad” one, which is the one most people have reacted to, and the “international” trailer. The latter is way better so I suggest you go, at the very least, take a gander at it.
I said it was better than the “bad” trailer! I didn’t say it made the movie look good, though!
Anyway, whatever trailer you did see, it’s obvious the upcoming live-action Monster Hunter movie will have the same problems as Capcom’s other live-action film franchise, Resident Evil. The magic which made the games a monster hit (sorry, couldn’t resist) seems to be lost. It even will have Paul W. S. Anderson in the director’s chair and star Milla Jovovich, the same people who were a part of the Resident Evil movies!
Judging from the number of likes and dislikes both trailers have, not many fans have high hopes for this live-action Monster Hunter movie. I know fans of the games are going to bemoan Capcom’s decision to hand the reins of another popular game franchise to the same people involved in the Resident Evil movies. That’s to be expected and, if the Resident Evil movies are to be the basis, the upcoming Monster Hunter movie is going to be trashed heavily by critics and fans alike.
I personally have never played a single Monster Hunter game so I can’t really tell you anything about how faithful it’s going to be. I can’t tell the difference between a Rathalos and a Diablos. However, I do respect how much fans love the games and this movie… doesn’t seem to show the Monster Hunter franchise a lot of respect.
That’s precisely why you shouldn’t expect a lot from it. In fact, I totally believe, in my heart of hearts, the live-action Monster Hunter can be an enjoyable film. You just have to not take it so seriously.
First, you have to face facts: there was no way they could actually craft a story based on Capcom’s multi-billion dollar franchise that would mirror the games. It may be look like a simple hack-and-slash and collect-sweet-loot game but there’s always going to be a lot of deep lore and Monster Hunter is the same. Since the franchise has been running since the Sony PlayStation 2 era, it was never going to be possible to cram all that lore in a cohesive manner into one action film. Other films, like the Warcraft movie, tried tremendously and still failed because they had to cram in so much!
Of course, Paul W. S. Anderson had to cast his wife, Milla Jovovich, as the main character in the Monster Hunter movie. Maybe some of you see that as a problem but I don’t. The bigger issue is the decision to make a platoon of soldiers cross over into Monster Hunter world via magic portal. I don’t really see the point of making the “heroes” from our world when the story would’ve functioned okay if they just had the protagonists of the film just be from Monster Hunter world.
I kind of believe this is mostly Hollywood’s doing. The higher ups probably cannot fathom viewers, especially ones who’ve never touched a Monster Hunter game in their life, won’t care about protagonists if they aren’t from our Earth. Well, I’ve never played any of the games but I still think it’s a silly decision. However, it does show how the producers and the writers don’t take the history of the games seriously. So, if that’s the case, why should we as viewers take the film seriously? You shouldn’t and you should just treat the story as just another popcorn flick.
I do believe the biggest problem of the movie based on the trailers is how serious it looks. On the surface, that’s how the games look. You have guys and gals trying to take down creatures the size of mountains with things like swords and bows. Based on that phrase, you would think Monster Hunter would be some serious survival game, right? That’s definitely not the case. After all, you have little kitty cats who cook food for you! I’m sure they’re going to be there in one fashion or another. I mean, it wouldn’t be a Monster Hunter movie without the mascot, right?
The overall silliness of seeing a bunch of sentient cats might be off-putting and even childish for someone who isn’t familiar with the games. Once again, this has Hollywood bigwigs fingerprints all over the marketing. They couldn’t imagine the regular Joe who wants to watch a bunch of humans tearing open a giant monster with primitive weapons would want the grimdark fantasy to include cute, cuddly felines.
However, the huge elephant in the room is the mere fact the Monster Hunter film is being directed by Paul W. S. Anderson. He’s the very same guy who saw the Resident Evil movies and put his own disastrous spin on the entire thing. The Resident Evil movies have very little resemblance to the actual games! So why would the same director show any reverence to the source material this time around?
I have very little faith he will. He can say he’s been a Monster Hunter fan since the first game. He can show us all the fantastic CGI models of the monsters and how accurate they are to their gaming counterparts. He can feature the weapons and have Milla Jovovich’s character activate Demon Mode with her Dual Blades as many times as you want. He will never be able to wipe the disappointing taste of Resident Evil from fans’ mouths.
Here’s the thing, though. All of the Resident Evil movies made a lot of money! I mean, a lot of money! Despite the movies being abominations of the Capcom games, there was something about them that made people go and buy tickets to watch them!
To my shame, I am kind of one of them! Not because they’re particularly good movies, mind you. However, they are what I would consider to be a guilty pleasure of mine. It didn’t start out that way for me. I was disgusted by the first movie’s story and how it diverged strongly from the game. By the time the 3rd movie, the one where it becomes a post-apocalyptic world, something in my mind snapped. I just couldn’t take the Resident Evil movies seriously. That’s when I started to just cut loose, let the logical part of my mind take a nap and just enjoy the Resident Evil movies for the dumb, stupid action movies they are. It definitely makes Milla Jovovich’s wall jump kick to a dog’s face more palatable!
This is how fans should treat the Monster Hunter movie. Yes, they are not going to show a whole lot of respect for the property. Yes, they’re going to make a mockery of the lore. Yes, they will not be able to capture the magic of what made the games great. You already know that! So why even expect it’ll be a legendary film?
I will be pleasantly surprised if the Monster Hunter movie is actually good. I’m not going to hold my breath but I do see it having the potential to be a silly action movie that’s going to be much more enjoyable if you realize the film isn’t taking itself all that seriously. If that’s the case, why should you? Just enjoy the monster hunting action.
What’s your take on the Monster Hunter live-action movie? Let me know in the comments section below!