After completing the Resident Evil saga, the duo Paul WS Anderson and Milla Jovovich tackled another video game with a Monster Hunter adaptation. Originally slated for theaters, the film eventually landed live on VOD, DVD and Blu-ray after the American and Chinese fiasco. We understand why.

The more time passed, the more the difference between Uwe Boll and Paul WS Anderson was simply due to the difference in budget. We’re exaggerating, but we have to admit that both directors love adapting video games into movies; one never had talent and the other less and less.

However, Paul WS Anderson has always kept this aura almost sympathetic, signing not-so-famous, but unpleasantly so far adaptations. We even dare to admit the fun that was taken in front of Mortal Kombat and its first Resident Evil. Loyalty level, we can come back, but the question of entertainment, we certainly did not have a bad time. With the exception of the three Resident Evil films and the later Three Musketeers in Flying Ships, the director’s name is now shaking when paired with an adaptation project. Which brings us to Monster Hunter.

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We follow Captain Artemis and his military forces on a mission when a mysterious storm transports them to another world. A few bad encounters with a giant monster later, Artemis finds himself alone. He finds a hunter from this world who will help him survive and possibly return to his own.

As we know, loyalty to the original is not Paul WS Anderson’s priority. When he takes Resident Evil in hand after abandoning it for two films, the story that was bordering on anything else rises to a whole new level. The uglier, the worse the writing, the worse the film is and it plays badly, the feature films no longer have Resident Evil but the names and some references are treated with a backhoe. The final chapter reaches the pinnacle of what we can get from the worst, in terms of film and adaptation.

So we reassured ourselves: Monster Hunters are treated less harshly. Perhaps the Capcom franchise is easier to bring to the screen than the previous one. After all, in the minimalist version, we can reduce the game to monster hunting. After all, this is how the director approached it and on a bestiary level, he delivers something to satisfy fans: Diablos, Nerscyllas, Rathalos… the most popular monsters are there. Likewise, there are certain famous characters like the Admiral or even Félyne. As for Milla, she played her role as the player avatar perfectly.

Except that Paul WS Anderson clearly didn’t know what to do with the set. We no longer feel like seeing actors in cosplay face big things in CGI visually is always overlooked. A feature film looks like a specification of elements that would be placed to please fans.

An observation that could have been a lot more bittersweet if the film had been content with staying in the minimalism of the first part. A simple type, but almost effective. Except that from the first “boss” we’re defeated, we fall into the ridiculous with over-offering references in dirty product placement mode and Ron Perlman in fake wigs, whose agony we can see in his eyes. $60 million is expensive for a fan movie.

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If video game fans have to settle for very little, it’s probably because feature films are primarily trying to attract new audiences who want great entertainment. He wouldn’t find it either.

It had to be said that the scenario was completely absurd. A bunch of extras replacing the others, Artemis is marked with spades by phrases and rings that we’ll never have a story for and when the explanation finally arrives (two thirds of the film), they explain nothing.

From where our little preference for a much less shy first part makes sense, letting the action and flickering/pumping speak to many other films. It sucks, but maybe more honest. It’s a shame that the over-cutting of the scene actually prevents you from enjoying it, but we’re no longer close.

With cynicism, hardly if we salute the audacity of wanting to make two completely different parts in the same film, then following that last third/epilogue that clearly leaves us hanging on to a sequel we specifically don’t want to see.

To end on a positive note, we should note two of Monster Hunter’s delights: the first is Milla Jovovich having fun as the heroine who is able to destroy Tony Jaa; the second is Paul WS Anderson who is never involved like when he filmed his wife breaking Tony Jaa. In the end, Monster Hunter above alla is a love story.

By D14N