Could someone please explain to me the desire to take every video game and make it into a movie (generally a whole franchise)? How about explaining Paul W.S. Anderson (Mortal Kombat) and Milla Jovovich's (Kuffs) obsession with being the people behind these types of movies? I get it…The Resident Evil films were well-received (well most of them anyway) and gaming is a passion of Anderson's but at some point, they will hit rock bottom. While I don't think they are there yet, Monster Hunter, based on the game franchise of the same name from Capcom, is heading in that general direction.
When Bravo team goes missing in the desert, Captain Artemis (Jovovich) and her soldiers go looking for them. With recorded audio and truck tracks that abruptly end, Artemis can't make heads or tails of any of it. Suddenly, an ominous-looking storm comes out of nowhere and the soldiers find themselves falling off a cliff. However, instead of dying, they end up in the desert again, and in front of them are the charred-out remains of Bravo team and their trucks. Suddenly, something under the sand heads towards them, and a giant insect-like monster rears its ugly head. Even though they try shooting at the creature it won't stop attacking so they try to find safe cover.
Eventually, with the rest of her team dead, Artemis comes across a skilled warrior called hunter (Tony Jaa; Furious 7) who got displaced from his group after falling off their ship. Though they don't speak the same language, they manage to communicate. At first, Artemis is his prisoner but eventually, they come to an understanding and work together to find a way back to the lightning storm which Artemis believes will take her back to her own world.
Jovovich plays the badass once again but she gives Artemis some emotions especially when she longs to get back home. She and Jaa have good chemistry and their fight scenes are well choreographed. Jaa has excellent skills but he also has fun when he tricks Artemis. Ron Perlman (Hellboy) takes on the role of the Admiral and offers a commanding presence. The rest of the cast are fairly unrememberable, considering they don't have much screen time.
If you must watch this movie, the 4K version is the way to go. With 2160p video resolution, the details on the insect creatures are incredible. The lush greens of the oasis and the greys and blacks of the thunderstorm, along with the flashes of blue lightning, are rich and deep. The Dolby Atmos is also a treat. The creatures attack from every speaker and the viewer is enveloped not only into this other dimension but the thunderstorm as well. The Combo Pack comes with a 4K disc, a Blu-ray disc, and a digital download code. There are also approximately 30 minutes of extras that include The Monster Hunters, For the Players Game to Screen, Monstrous Arsenal, Deleted Scenes, and a preview for Ghostbusters: Afterlife. None of them are all that interesting or earth-shattering, unfortunately.
I suppose if one is a gamer or a fan of Jovovich, then the Monster Hunter 4K Combo Pack is one you would want to add to your collection. Heck, even if you like action sequences where people battle huge bugs, then go buy it. However, if you are like me – a non-gamer who prefers less action and more dialogue – then this release will be lost on you. The script is bland, the premise seems too unbelievable, and the action scenes are too long (they always are for me). The best part of the movie is the end when The Admiral and his crew come to rescue Hunter and pick up Artemis as well. However, you have to sit through a whole lot of other scenes to get there.