Earlier this week, Capcom made an official announcement that Paul W.S Anderson would be writing a directing a Monster Hunter film. To celebrate this news, I decided to take a look at what made Monster Hunter great to begin with, and wonder if a film could even live up to the hype, especially with the popularity of Monster Hunter World.
But, there are two core concepts that make Monster Hunter what it is, and these are concepts that will certainly not be given justice in the film. These two core concepts are: what makes the monsters good “monsters,” and what makes being a hunter feel like a right of passage.
Monster Hunter isn’t the easiest series to get into. While there are tutorials at the beginning of each game, they lack to give you proper guidance on how to master the in-depth mechanics of the game. One of the core aspects of Monster Hunter is hunting with friends, and it’s often these friends that show the newer players the ropes.
If you’re playing alone, you’re not going to have as good of a time if someone doesn’t show you the strategy of hunting. Through an unspoken agreement, your friends become your superiors, and they train you to become a better hunter. The lack of experience points and leveling up helps cement this concept, as you as a player are the only one actually “leveling” up in a sense that you’re becoming better at the game. This slow progression of “getting the hang of things” isn’t something that can be replicated on the big screen, as there wouldn’t be enough time to watch the hunter develop the skills.
The second concept is one that could be done well in a film if given enough care: the “monsters” are actually just big animals trying to survive. Sometimes, these animals end up in areas that can upset the ecosystem, which is why the guild sends hunters to drive them away. While there are a few monsters that have a nefarious nature, none of them are actually evil.
This idea of “monsters are just animals” is going to be completely neglected in Paul W.S Anderson’s film. When originally announced months ago, he brought up the idea of there being two worlds, the Monster Hunter world and ours. He went on about how cool it would be to see the monsters invade New York City, but this makes them sound an evil needing to be vanquished rather than a minor threat or a trophy hunt.
With these two concepts absent, it’ll be hard to say that the Monster Hunter movie will be faithful in the spirit of the games. However, this doesn’t mean that it won’t be an entertaining film. After all, there’s a good chance we’re going to see Ron Pearlman dropkick a Rathalos.