Set in an alternate universe, it shows the survival story of Natalie Artemis as she tries to figure out a way to return to her world, i.e., human world. “Monster Hunter” is pretty much able to achieve what it apparently aims for; an out-of-this-world action movie with some of the required spices.
A sandstorm transports Captain Natalie Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit to another world while they were looking for another unit. This unit, too, vanished without a trace. After they arrive at the new world, they discover two vehicles completely destroyed. They had barely realized that they were in a different dimension when they are attacked by Diablos, a monster that lives under the sand. One by one, all of Artemis’s peers are killed by Diablos (sand monster), Nersylla (spider-like monsters), and the worst of the lot, Rathalos (a fire breathing dragon-like monster; imagine Dragon from Season 8 of “Game of Thrones” but a mad one). She is, however, rescued by a hunter (Tony Jaa) who trains her to fight the monsters and assists her in going back to her world.
The cast has 3 of the coolest actors that we all have grown up watching. Milla Jovovich is certainly one of the queens of science-fiction and action movies. Some of the famous ones are “Resident Evil” franchise, Ultraviolet “Hellboy Reboot,” and “The Three Musketeers.” She was even deemed the “reigning queen of kick-butt” in 2006 by VH1.
In “Monster Hunter,” too, she has the same avatar, and like always, she nails the part. However, the point where movie proves that she is indeed the “reigning queen” is when a Nersylla stabs her with one of its pincers, yet she survives. As unreal as it is, we accept it because it is Milla Jovovich. Basically, there isn’t any monster that can kill her, is there? And that is why we love her so much. She is able to portray the pain of her wounds while carrying on her journey. And this never-give-up nature is what makes her character so attractive to us. Be that as it may, we all love to see Milla Jovovich kill some nasty monsters.
Next is Tony Jaa. A common name in martial arts movies, he is very well-renowned for movies like “Ong Bak,” “The Protector,” “Triple Threat,” “SPL II: A Time for Consequences,” and many more. He is especially respected for doing his stunts without any assistance or body-double or CG effects. There is not much for Tony Jaa to execute in his hunter role. For someone known for his action sequences, this role doesn’t provide him with much of that. We may despair for not getting the action, but we cannot really raise any questions as he did what the story wanted to the last bit.
And last but not least at all, we have Ron Perlman. Who doesn’t remember his swag in “Hellboy,” right? And the baddy Dieter Reinhardt in “Blade 2.” We also remember him from Netflix’s “Sons of Anarchy.” His larger-than-life presence is what makes him so perfect for his roles. Ron Perlman’s role is very short in the film. He is the Admiral of the ship that sails the sands of the other world, one of whose members is the hunter. We don’t really get much of Perlman other than the last fight with the monster. But it is a relief to see him fight monsters all the same.
The ending is totally like one of those to-be-continued action movies. Just when it seems that everything has returned to normal, the danger is back. Artemis has returned to her world and has been taken onboard a rescue aircraft. But just then, a Rathalos comes down on the aircraft, bringing it down. It has made it through the sandstorm portal and has now arrived in our world. And the only people who can stop this monster are in the other world. Or so it seemed until just in the nick of time, the hunter intervenes.
Along with the Admiral and, of course, Artemis, he takes up arms to kill another the monster. The movie ends at the point where the trio is about to strike the monster, thus offering the possibility of a sequel. Remember how “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” ended just before Spider-Man is about to hit Rhino? That’s it. The fight goes on. There’s no day off for warriors.
Overall, “Monster Hunter” is a one-time watch with satisfactory visual effects, sound effects, and a popular cast. Director Paul W.S. Anderson is famous for his science fiction films (“Resident Evil” franchise among others), and that’s what he delivers, so no complaints there.
“Monster Hunter” is a 2020 Action Fantasy film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson.