It’s somewhat telling that we’ve only seen but so much of Paul W.S. Anderson’s upcoming Monster Hunter film, Hollywood’s latest attempt at bringing a video game franchise to the big screen. There’s going to be at least one humongous sword, which is very on-brand, but every other glimpse of the movie we’ve seen so far has felt decidedly un-Monster Hunter like.
Monster Hunter’s story about a group of real world military members getting sucked through a portal of some sort that transports them to a magical land of demons and those who hunt them sounds...suspect on its face, because that’s never really been where any of the games come from narratively. People don’t exactly need grounding to our reality to get hype for a Monster Hunter adaptation, and it’s all the more odd when you consider how none of the images released so far seem to be trying to approximate the games’ lush environments.
Instead, what we’ve seen is a lot of Milla Jovovich’s Lt. Artemis and Tony Jaa’s Hunter smoldering in the desert carrying just a few recognizable pieces of Monster Hunter armor and weaponry. The latest image is more of the same, this time featuring Artemis seemingly ready to do something with the slinger attached to her left arm, which is cool, but rather “eh.”
It’s more than likely that these desert images are pulled from a single scene within the entire film, and there will be plenty of others that, one hopes, are more visually interesting and feature more of the terrifying creatures that are the entire point of Monster Hunter. Because what no one needs right now is another Super Mario Bros. situation, which is to say a live-action film that’s so overly focused on trying to feel “real” that it ends up not being much fun at all.
Monster Hunter is scheduled to hit theaters on September 4.
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