Monster Hunter – Blu-ray Review

Monster Hunter

 Paul W.S. Anderson, the same man who gave us the dreadful Resident Evil movie franchise, returns with another video game adaptation for him to run into the ground. Anderson doesn’t try to do any world-building or establish the lore from the video games with Monster Hunter. This time around, Anderson channels his inner Michael Bay for the film’s narrative. Like Bay’s Transformers, Anderson takes artistic license to bridge the source material to our world. He makes the military look like stars, and there is quite a number of explosions in the film to boot. 

The problem is that, unlike Michael Bay, the film doesn’t have any crazy complex action sequences that will blow your mind. The action sequences in Monster Hunter are standard and used in a way to showcase its $60M budget. Milla Jovovich once again does well in this physically demanding role, but Anderson fails to make good use of Tony Jaa’s incredible talents. Here, the fight scenes — especially whenever it involves him and Jovovich — are met with quick edits and odd camera angles. 

What Monster Hunter gets right is establishing the friendship between Jovovich’s Artemis and Jaa’s Hunter. Their chemistry and solidarity are palpable on screen. Not to mention, Milla Jovovich gives Artemis a personality instead of playing the same wooden character as in Resident Evil. On the other side, Tony Jaa showcases a funnier side to him that audiences haven’t seen before. The combination of these two is a plus for the film.

Overall, Monster Hunter is a below-average yet entertaining adaptation of the popular video game franchise. Anderson has said that it took him ten years to bring Monster Hunter to the bring screen, and to his credit, it is a bit of a step up from the awful Resident Evil films. That doesn’t necessarily mean that the film is any good — it just means you have to shut your brain down and enjoy it for what it is: An adventure film with lots of monsters, big and small.

Movie Rating: 2.5/5 atoms

Monster Hunter - Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa

Video

Monster Hunter hits Blu-ray with a 1080p MPEG-4 AVC with a 2.39:1 aspect ratio. The crystal clear picture has a sharp contrast that leads to some bright whites without any clipping. The black levels also run the grayscale gamut, where you’ll see either a lighter or a darker shade of black. Now, Monster Hunter is not a highly colorful movie. However, the colors that do break away from the warm palette are rich and vibrant. Overall, this is a stellar video presentation from Sony Pictures.

Video Rating: 5/5 atoms

Monster Hunter - Milla Jovovich

Audio

Monster Hunter hits Blu-ray with a 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. From the opening scene in the desert, you can hear the kind of fun and playful mix Sony has in store for you. The sound pans seamlessly from all over left-to-right, back-to-front, and everything in between. Distinct atmospherics places you into the world — especially when a scene occurs in the gateway storm between the New World and Our World. The instruments in Paul Haslinger’s score are separated and used in different channels, which results in a rich-sounding soundtrack. The dialogue is slightly drowned out by all of the monster chaos, but thankfully, this doesn’t happen very often. Nevertheless, this is still an extremely fun audio mix.

Audio Rating: 5/5 atoms

Monster Hunter - Ron Perlman and Milla Jovovich

Special Features

Monster Hunter‘s Blu-ray disc has the following special features on Blu-ray disc:

  • The Monster Hunters
  • For the Players: Game to Screen
  • Monstrous Arsenal
  • Deleted Scenes
    • Steeler Joke #1
    • Steeler Joke #2

“The Monster Hunters” is essentially the behind-the-scenes, making-of featurette of the film. Like most modern-day featurettes, “The Monster Hunters” breeze through the making-of process while giving us snippets of information about the film’s production. For those who have never played the Monster Hunter video game series before, then “For the Players” is for you. It takes a look at all of the things from the franchise that made it into the game. From the monsters to the characters, you’ll begin to see the checklist of it all. “Monstrous Arsenal,” as the name suggests, focuses on the various weapons in the film. As you can imagine, all of the weaponry in the film is found in the video game franchise as well. So the featurette touches upon these weapons and their relation to the game. The deleted scenes are humorous jokes that run a similar theme within both scenes. They’re useless scenes, but they are funny jokes that you may want to copy and steal as one of your own. 

Special Features Rating: 2.5/5 atoms


Overall, Monster Hunter won’t be a film that will change your mind about Paul W.S. Anderson. It’s pretty much what you would expect from a film from him. Nevertheless, the film is still an upgrade from the Resident Evil films and is actually quite fun. The video and audio presentations are great all-around, but unfortunately, the special features are lacking.

Overall Rating: 4/5 atoms

Monster Hunter is now available in stores on Blu-ray.

This Blu-ray was reviewed using a retail/advance copy/unit provided by Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

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Mark Pacis
Mark Pacis 1632 posts

Self-proclaimed "Human IMDb" and comic book geek. Biggest Iron Man fan you'll probably ever meet.