American soldiers must fight for their lives in a parallel world filled with gigantic, aggressive creatures in Monster Hunter, an upcoming movie based on the hugely successful global video game franchise of the same name. Die-hard fans of the games are already noticing their displeasure with the trailer, which I understand – let’s face it, the trailer does look a little cheesy. But the film also features martial arts star Tony Jaa van de Ong-Bak franchise, which atones for many sins in my book. And director Paul WS Anderson was the driving creative force behind the wildly popular Resident Evil movie franchise.
The Monster Hunter games are the second best-selling game series from Capcom – behind the Resident Evil series – with over 64 million units sold worldwide across all platforms to date. Andersen (Mortal Kombat) discovers Monster Hunter during a visit to Japan in 2008 and adapting a movie from the game world became his new passion project. Hoping to start another successful film franchise, he enlisted his own wife Milla Jovovich (who starred in the Resident Evil movies), for the lead role of Captain Natalie Artemis, an American soldier who enters the game world through a portal – Anderson’s plot device to introduce the cinema audience to that universe.
In the Monster Hunter role-playing games, players choose a Hunter character along with custom armor and weapons. The characters don’t have intrinsic abilities, like traditional RPGs; rather, whatever abilities they have arise from the choice of weapons and armor. Those choices are simple at first, and players collect additional resources from their quests to defeat various monsters, including crafting new assets from parts collected from the defeated creatures. In single-player mode, the fighters are usually accompanied by a Felyne or sentient feline creatures known as Palicos for extra support.
The main characters in the film are based on game characters (e.g. the Handler and the Admiral), and all weapons, armor and monsters are also largely sourced from the game world, including Palicos and the signature monster called the Rathalos (actually a fire-breathing dragon) . Jovovich chose her character’s signature double blades after experimenting with different weapons in-game, believing that they would yield visually exciting action sequences.
According to the official premise:
Behind our world is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters who rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Jovovich) and her unit (TI Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unfamiliar environment is home to huge and terrifying monsters that immune to their firepower. In their desperate struggle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Jaa), whose unique abilities allow him to stay one step ahead of the mighty creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Ron Perlman). Faced with a danger so great it could destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique skills to team up for the ultimate showdown.
Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. Monster Hunter premieres in theaters on December 30, 2020, coronavirus permitting, so we can ring in the new year with a big monster strain.
List of picture by YouTube/Sony Pictures