by Samantha Shuma
The rest of this review contains spoilers for Monster Hunter, reader’s discretion advised.
While trying to recover another unit, Natalie and her unit are transported to a different world. These worlds overlap each other, the only door between them being the Sky Tower, an ancient building protected by horrific beasts. We get to know the unit and their relationship. They sing songs about the army and pick on each other. Other than Natalie, the members of the unit don’t get much screen time. Instead of getting to really know each character, we get a sense of how they have worked together in the past. It is a good attempt at making the audience care about these characters, but none of the characters or their performances are memorable. They cross over in the new world early on in the film. Even with excessive weapons, the monsters that inhabit the new world kill most of the unit, leaving Natalie as the only survivor. The lack of character depth for most of the unit comes down to lack of time the film allows for these characters to live, making the bulk of the cast forgettable and underwhelming.
The depth of Monster Hunter’s characters and themes do not go beyond generic action movie conventions. There are some missed opportunities when it comes to uniquely portraying the story through visuals. The character focus of the film was the relationship between Natalie and the Hunter. Having them learn unique ways of communicating would have strengthened their relationship while reinforcing the themes of adapting and the power that comes with multicultural communication. To just turn your brain off and watch some warriors fighting monsters can be an enjoyable experience. But if you are looking for something beyond that, there is a lot to be desired when it comes to character development and thematic depth.