While not a household name among non-video game players, the Monster Hunter game series is a global powerhouse. Now, it’s taken a huge step toward the big screen, though how this is going to turn out is anybody’s guess. While the producers of the new Monster Hunter film see this as a potential franchise, the producers in questions are Paul W.S. Anderson and Jeremy Bolt, the same team behind the Resident Evil film adaptations.
Monster Hunter is a game series by Japanese developer Capcom and while it’s mostly popular in Japan and China, it’s got a strong fan base in the United States as well. The game series follows a hero character who protects and defends villages in a fantasy setting by fighting and trapping monsters. The setup for the film, according to Deadline, will follow an ordinary man who discovers that he’s descended from an ancient hero and must travel to a magical land to learn how to fight monsters. Paul W.S. Anderson has apparently already written the first draft of the script and they have still and VFX visual renderings of the monsters, including an image of a dragon attacking Los Angeles International Airport, so we’ll apparently be getting fantasy monsters attacking the modern world in the story.
Opinions on the Resident Evil movies vary, but we can probably say that calling them “classic cinema” would be a stretch. At best, the movies are ridiculous fun, at worst they’re terrible. They are showcases of violence and special effects that don’t let the story stand in the way of their visual spectacle. If you go in expecting that, you at least won’t be disappointed. However, if you’re a video game who would like to see the medium taken as seriously as comic books now are, Resident Evil does not help your cause.
Monster Hunter certainly had a lot to be attracted to when it comes to major blockbuster movies. The opportunity to make some impressive CGI creatures is certainly there. Unfortunately, since that’s all the team behind Resident Evil really focused on, we have every reason to expect that’s all we’ll get. Blockbuster movies with great special effects have their place, but it’s difficult to say if that’s all fans of the game franchise are looking for.