‘Monster Hunter’: a new download of unprejudiced fun with the Paul WS Anderson-Milla Jovovich team stamp
It is unavoidable, if you have a minimally trotting and shameless vision of genre cinema, feel a certain appreciation for the cinema of Paul WS Anderson. Of course, movies that take themselves and their mechanisms seriously are fine, the movies of Robert Eggers, Ari Aster and David Robert Mitchell are great, but sometimes it is also convenient to rinse your canines with films whose main asset is deliver hassle-free ten karat fun.
And Paul WS Anderson’s efforts to stay within those margins no matter what project he embarks on is commendable, because that it is also an author’s vision. And a vision not devoid of risks. His cinema is often based on narrative leaps into the void from which not everyone would be successful.. One or two characters and a single setting for most of the footage, narrow and claustrophobic spaces, constant action, and consciously renouncing any kind of elaborate symbology.
Paul WS Anderson’s stories are usually survival adventures without more. His monsters are not repressed traumas and his characters often have no past, and if they do, he is the righteous one. to motivate the action of the film. This makes his cinema possess a curious – sometimes involuntary – abstraction that borders on delirium. It happens for example, in a curiously very uncommercial way, in the last installments of ‘Resident Evil’, epics of absurd action and digital gore for which I recognize that I have a special devotion.
‘Monster Hunter’, which hits theaters this week, is no different: part of the legendary Capcom franchise (which, by the way, premieres delivery on PC and Switch on the same day that the film lands in Spanish cinemas), but distances itself from it with terrestrial protagonists. A group of soldiers who are transported to a basically desert world (at least the portion we see of it) are annihilated with the exception of their captain (Jovovich). She must team up with a local warrior (Tony Jaa) to defeat the ferocious creatures. indigenous.
Deserts & Dragons
‘Monster Hunter’ is completely in line with Anderson’s cinema-type, which is a relief to his fans: literally embraces what he enjoys the most from the original (an anthropomorphic cat that makes food, why not), he discards what he is not interested in (the complexity of the fantasy world of games, which he reduces here to a desert and a native) and adapts the rest, generating that funny clash of audiovisual languages so typical of his cinema.
For example, the characters create equipment by modifying weapons and registering corpses and scenarios, mimicking those moments of inventory management so typical of the game. They also consider the confrontation with the monsters based on locating weak points and with tactics that replicate those of the game. And because Paul WS Anderson directs the action superbly, these constant battles make very good use of space, and the language transfer works very well.
“Monster Hunter” is not Anderson’s best film, which is an honor that corresponds to the increasingly revalued “Final Horizon.” But yes shines high thanks to its shamelessness, which makes limiting settings and characters a virtue, and that it is allowed to force the action sequences to the maximum, as in the long initial melee battles of the protagonists. He just lacks, perhaps, some charisma like the one that smeared his most misunderstood film, the tremendously funny ‘Alien vs. Predator ‘.
Anderson is one of those creators who makes his work seem simple, who make the viewer exclaim “that can be done by anyone”. Sequences like Mila Jovovich emerging from a cocoon and escaping from the spider’s cave are deceptively silly. But they are based on a use of tension, editing and sound that make Paul WS Anderson – who almost pays homage to his own ‘Mortal Kombat’ on the final stage, at this point in life – into one of the last artisans of the fantastic B series.