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Film / Monster Hunt

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In the distant past, monsters and humans coexisted peacefully. That is until humans desired to monopolize the world. A war ensued between both sides, ending with the humans being victorious. The monsters are cast out of the village and exiled to the mountains, wherein a boundary was situated in order to prevent monsters from reentering the village. The Monster Hunter Bureau was also established in order to dispel China of any monsters that have successfully broken the barrier. Eventually, a civil war arises, and the old Monster King is usurped. Hearing about how the Monster Queen's baby will be the intermediary between man and monster, the new Monster King seeks to destroy him.

Monster Hunt is a 2015 Chinese-Hong Kong action comedy film that premiered in China on July 16, 2015 to huge success. Breaking numerous records, the film debuted as the highest grossing film in China, until The Mermaid took its record in 2016. The film eventually opened in North America on January 22, 2016 to 2D and 3D. A sequel was also announced, and is slated to be released in 2018.

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Not to be confused with Monster Hunter. Compare with Undertale, a game with an uncannily similar backstory.

This film provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: Xialon and Tianyin’s Grandmother.
  • Big Bad: Ge Qianhu otherwise known as the Monster King
  • Black Comedy: There are a few laughs to be had at the Heaven Restaurant, particularly with the head chef's attempts at preparing Wuba into a dish.
    • The scene of (normal) radishes being chopped up after Tianyin and Xialon sell Wuba can be this for some, simply because of the happy baby laughter that the characters imagine while the visuals imply Wuba's violent death
  • Bittersweet Ending: The Monster King is defeated, but Tianyin has to say goodbye to Wuba.
  • Changed My Mind, Kid: Tianyin and Xialon when they go back for Wuba
  • Evil Chef: The head chef.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: A monster's brain is destroyed when a fire beetle drills into its head.
  • Fantastic Racism: Monsters are viewed in scorn. Ge intends on killing the Monster Queen's baby in order to reignite the Monster Hunter Bureau's importance which will involve committing wide scale genocide on the monsters. However, this leads to...
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  • Hypocrite: Ge is revealed to be this when he is revealed as the Monster King.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Xialon originally wanted to receive a promotion by capturing Wuba, but she grew to love him.
    • Lou Gang also performs one out of gratitude for Zhugao and Pangying saving him.
  • I Owe You My Life: Lou Gang; see Heel–Face Turn above.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: Ge runs a restaurant - known as the Heaven Restaurant - that serves sentient monsters to humans despite the fact that he himself is a monster. It should be noted that in-universe, a monster eating another monster is considered taboo given Zhugao's and Pangying's response to being offered some food.
  • Knight of Cerebus: Ge darkens the mood of the film whenever he's onscreen.
  • Know-Nothing Know-It-All: the midwife who tries to attend Tianyin when he’s "in labor." She shows up several times throughout the film as a Running Gag
  • Laughably Evil: The head chef (though this leans towards Played for Laughs), and Lou Gang.
  • Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Tianyin is the “mayor” of a small village who’s constantly cleaning, sewing, and doing other domestic chores for the townspeople. Xialon is an Action Girl Monster Hunter with some decent experience under her belt. And for the first half of their journey, he’s pregnant with an unborn Living MacGuffin while she’s protecting him.
  • Mister Seahorse: Tianyin is made to carry the Monster Queen's unborn baby. Hilarity Ensues.
  • Never Mess with Granny: Double subverted with Tianyin’s grandma- turns out she is (or was) a genuinely skilled warrior, but she’s also genuinely senile and gets knocked out of the final battle quickly.
  • The Reveal: Lord Ge is the Monster King.
  • Ridiculously Cute Critter: Wuba.
  • Sadistic Choice: Ge gives Tianyin the choice of either giving him the baby, or letting either of his loved ones die. He then raises that to which one did he love the most.
  • Those Two Guys: Two example- the two monsters who worked for the Monster Queen, and the Midwife and her husband both keep showing up in the story. The former because they’re trying to save Wuba from Tianyin and Xialon, and the latter thanks to sheer coincidence.
  • The Unfavorite: Played for laughs with Tianyin constantly being called “nobody of importance” by his Grandma, to the point where she thinks he’s either his father or his grandfather whenever he actually does something useful
  • Villainous Breakdown: Ge completely loses it once his cover is blown.
  • Would Hurt a Child: Ge intends on eating Wuba alive.
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