Back in September, during the Tokyo Game Show, Capcom producer Ryozo Tsujimoto mentioned that a Monster Hunter movie is in the works in Hollywood but didn’t give out much details other than the production is currently ongoing. Just recently, an exclusive interview with Paul W. S. Anderson done by Deadline shed a bit more light as to how it will go. Anderson, who is known for his video game adaptation movies of the Resident Evil franchise, has set his eyes on making a movie revolving around the hit franchise Monster Hunter. Apparently, he and his colleagues had already been through talks with Capcom as they pitched in ideas on how to create the movie a few years back; even including a second movie. Now that they acquired the rights, they pretty much have the green light to work on it.
But there’s a snag. The way that they’re writing the story is far different from what I, and most of the fans, have expected. You might be thinking that I’ll just be ranting about how bad the movie will turn out because of how the Resident Evil franchise suffered from being butchered under the hands of Anderson – no. I won’t go with that prejudice because I haven’t seen any of the movies nor even played any of the games. I just go by from what I have seen and heard from the different fans the franchise has: those that have played the game and those that just watched the movies; and I have observed a trend between those types of fans. Most of those that followed Resident Evil through the game have negative feedback towards Anderson, mainly because the movies didn’t stay faithful to the game. Most of the people I know that followed the franchise through the movies, most of them have little to no hours spent on playing the game, have either neutral or positive outlook towards the director and the project. But enough of that. My two cents on this project is not based entirely on what Anderson has done, but on what he has planned to do, specifically with the movie’s story.
Based on the interview, it goes like this: “It’s about a normal American who gets dragged into this parallel world, this Monster Hunter world. Then eventually the parallel world ends up coming to our world. So you have the creatures from the Monster Hunter world invading our world.” Then he continues on to how these monsters, those that humans consider as myths, are real. Heroes stand up to them and vanquish them out of existence. These encounters become stories of legend but there will always come a day that these monsters will come back and ravage our world. That’s basically how the story would go so far.
To be honest, I do not like this to be the plot for the movie that will represent the franchise. Why? For one, the parallel worlds thing will break the world that Monster Hunter has, which is already self-contained. The games don’t really follow and have that much of a story deeper than a hero who needs to save the town from monsters, which means that anyone who would like to create their own story can definitely do so within the lore of the Monster Hunter world itself. So, what is the need to drag and connect both worlds together? The way how this plot would make the movie look like is pretty much what I consider as nothing more than a tribute to the franchise instead.
I’m not actually saying that the plot itself is bad. Heck, I would honestly watch it, actually. But the point is that the world of Monster Hunter is already well established; that mixing in our world would not make any sense at all and it would just ruin stuff. Doing so will bring in technology anachronisms because the technology used in the games is just a few notches higher than what you can consider as crude, but not as advanced as opposed to the cutting-edge technology that we currently have, provided that the setting is the present era of humanity. I mean, why can weapons made out of monster parts hurt the monster more than heavy artillery and mechanized weapons can? Why not just bombard these monsters with full firepower and solve the problem in seconds? No, don’t compare Monster Hunter monsters to the likes of the kaiju like Godzilla and those from Pacific Rim; they are of a different kind.
Talking about the kind of monsters that we’re dealing with, monsters in Monster Hunter are pretty much what you can still call “organic”, like they are actually based from the biology of real animals, only that there are just some aspects of their biology that are exaggerated. There are just a select few monsters whose powers are a bit too unrealistic, mostly elder dragons like Alatreon being able to summon the elements with its horns and Amatsu that have the ability to control the surrounding air to keep itself afloat; and also these “humans” who can easily swing huge weapons with ease. Basically speaking, almost everything can be backed-up by biological explanation, it just has to be skewed up a little. It still is considered as a fantasy game, to say the least. But by bringing the idea of parallel worlds into play makes things lean more on the mystical and magical realm of fantasy, and that doesn’t feel like Monster Hunter anymore. No matter how over-the-top crazy Monster Hunter looks like, it still kept its organic sense, and that’s its charm.
If they would really like to go through with that story, I suggest that they drop “Monster Hunter” from the title, have it released as its own title and a lot of people would appreciate it more. Or why not pick up where the manga left? Monster Hunter Orage felt like it needed a sequel or a continuation. At least pattern the movie revolving around the story of a band of hunters set out on a quest to fight the big bad monster. I know it’s already cliché, but that’s how it has always been in Monster Hunter and the franchise is still strong. Die-hard fans would still watch it with much gusto. It’s sad to realize that this project’s main agenda is obviously for monetary gain; never minding the fact that doing so will leave a negative impact on the legacy that it has established. Leave the franchise be unless the story will just revolve within its world. The record of video game adaptation movies is already bad enough; we don’t want another one to be added to the list.