Monster Hunter (with the subtitle The Hunt Begins in some territories) is a 2020 action-adventure Kaiju film directed by Paul W.S. Anderson and starring Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa. It is based on CAPCOM's Monster Hunter videogame franchise.
In the "New World" an expedition composed of Monster Hunters sail the sands towards an ominous tower surrounded by a constant storm. Then they are attacked by two horned-wyverns known as Diablos and one of the hunters (Tony Jaa) is thrown overboard.
Meanwhile in "Our World", an U.N Alpha Team — led by Captain Artemis (Jovovich) — is searching for the M.I.A. Bravo Team in Afghanistan with the only clue being their last transmission mentioning a storm. As the Alpha Team ride their two vehicles through the rocky desert they notice strange rocks as they track the last known path of bravo team. Then a strange storm rolls in, engulfing them as they try to escape and energize the rocks thus transporting them to the "New World". In the chaos and confusion of a monster attack, Artermis makes contact with the missing hunter and both team up to survive with Artemis eventually adopting the Hunter's ways of fighting the monsters of the New World.
The film was released in theaters in both the United States and China in December 2020, though it has since been pulled out of the latter note .
A promotion event was held in Monster Hunter: World where players could play as Captain Artemis (voiced by Jovovich herself) from the film fighting against monsters such as Diablos and Rathalos.
The film has the following tropes:
- Adaptational Badass: The Rathalos in the movie is a lot bigger, and is considered "almost impossible" to kill... compare that to the in-game Rathalos, where they're considered a Wake-Up Call Boss at best. Even the in-game version of this particular Rathalos in Monster Hunter: World isn't that threatening, as it's simply an enormous Rathalos with huge hit-boxes. Aside from being a bit tedious to fight, it's still a rather easy kill, and nothing like previous collaboration monsters like the Behemoth, Leshen & Ancient Leshen, or even the Giant Kulu-Ya-Ku.
- Aerosol Flamethrower: Captain Artemis fires a a canister of pure oxygen from the medical kit across a flare in order to torch a Nerscylla.
- Alternate Universe: The New World and Our World are considered this for each other.
- Attack Its Weak Point: The Admiral notes that the Rathalos is most vulnerable right before it breathes fire. At the end, Artemis fires an explosive into its throat right before it breathes fire, and the Hunter follows up with multiple explosive arrows into the openings in its throat made by the first explosion, bringing it down.
- Badass Adorable: The Palico, who prepares to throw down with Gore Magala in The Stinger.
- Badass Normal: Captain Artemis from Our World can nearly match a Hunter from the New World in combat.note
- Berserk Button: Don't harm the Hunter's two carvings of his late wife and child. He tried to kill Artemis when she knocked them over.
- BFS: One of the Hunter's weapons is a Giant Jawblade, a massive two-handed sword made from sharpened monster bone.
- Brick Joke: A very dark, practically nightmarish example: one of Artemis's squadmates ties his dog tags to his boot, reasoning that it will ensure he's identified should his head get blown off. It manages to do exactly that after a Nerscylla bites his head off, and his remains are left in a web sac in the monsters' nest.
- Continuity Cameo:
- The Admiral (played by Ron Perlman) from Monster Hunter: World appears.
- Amongst the other hunters seen in the expedition are the Meowscular Chef, the Handler and several of the unnamed Fivers.
- Conveniently Placed Sharp Thing: When Captain Artemis, who has her hands bound, is knocked to the ground by the Hunter, she uses the opportunity to palm a sharp rock that she uses to cut through her bonds later that night.
- Darker and Edgier: True, the games take place in a Crapsack World, but it's rare that anyone actually dies. Here, Artemis's team are obliterated in a variety of horrific ways.
- Disney Death: Very early in the movie, Artemis is grabbed and then stung by a Nerscylla. This seemingly kills her which leads her soldiers to reluctantly leave her behind. However, it's revealed that the sting actually just put her to sleep.
- Dual Wielding: The Hunter teaches Artemis how to fight with Dual Blades so that she can properly fight against monsters.
- Dwindling Party: The Alpha team from Our World are killed one by one until only Captain Artemis is left.
- Everyone Has Standards: Artemis and the Hunter might have been trying to kill each other in their fight, but when the Hunter is knocked into the Nerscylla nest, Artemis pulls him back out. She wouldn't subject him to the fate her teammates suffered.
- Eye Scream: The Hunter scores a major hit against the Diablos by shooting an arrow into its left eye loaded with Nerscylla venom.
- Face Full of Alien Wing-Wong: While escaping the Nerscylla nest, Artemis finds an injured Lincoln who complains about extreme pain on his torso. He pulls his shirt up to find it ridden with Nerscylla egg sacs. Then they start hatching and swarming all over him...
- Feed It a Bomb:
- When Steeler is grabbed by the Diablos, he pulls the pin on one of the grenades on his bandolier, turning it into and improvised suicide belt that detonates as the Diablos is trying to swallow him. Subverted in that the grenades miss and detonate on its face, failing to penetrate the creature's hide.
- This is also used to kill the Rathalos in the finale. In this case, they have to use multiple bombs, one to cause some injuries and a second, bigger one to finish the job.
- Gatling Good: Alpha Team's Humvee is mounted with a minigun, but like most other modern weapons, it does little to damage the monsters of the New World such as the Diabolos. V22 Ospreys are also seen firing their hull-mounted miniguns at the Rathalos with no effect.
- Giant Spider: The swarm of Nerscyllas read more as a checklist of every giant spider cliche in the book than they do as anything resembling their game counterpart. They now operate as a eusocial swarm, bringing live prey deep into their nests to host their parasitic larvae, they fear the sunlight, and no longer wear the skins of slain monsters as clothing.
- Half the Man He Used to Be: Marshall, one of the soldiers, is largely implied to be killed this way suffers by a Nerscylla, though it cuts away just before he's torn in half.
- Hard-Work Montage: One happens as Artemis and the Hunter prepare to fight the Diablos. Artemis gets taught by the Hunter how to use the equipment from his world. They make a sand timer-triggered trebuchet. The Hunter crafts an arrow from the poison sac.
- Herbivores Are Friendly: Averted hard. The primary threat of the first half of the movie is a diablos, a herbivorous monster. The creature is apparently so viciously territorial that it lashes out against any movement it detects whatsoever.
- Hope Spot: As the Hunters fight Rathalos at the Sky Tower, Artemis jumps through a portal and actually manages to return to Our World. She is brought onto a helicopter for extraction...which is immediately grounded by the Rathalos that followed Artemis into Our World!
- Hyperspace Is a Scary Place: The process of being thrown from Earth into the New World is very unpleasant for Artemis and her team, as they get thrown around in their vehicles as it tumbles through a nasty-looking storm with weird glyphs.
- Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: This happens several times throughout the movie, with Diablos impaling both a hunter and a solider on its horns during various parts of the film. This also happens to Artemis due to being stung by a Nerscylla's stinging tail, though she gets better.
- Job Title: Just like the games, the main characters are all people who hunt giant monsters.
- Language Barrier: Artemis and the Hunter are unable to communicate properly since they are from different worlds. Subverted when Artemis meets the Admiral who is able to speak her language. He more or less explains it was from studying the texts related to his crew's mission.
- Meaningful Name: The main character's last name is Artemis, named for the Greek goddess of the hunt.
- Militaries Are Useless: The UN military taskforce of Our World can barely scratch the monsters with their weapons. Justified by the fact that they are are trained for, and most of the weapons are designed to go against, other human threats - giant monsters with all sorts of animal properties cranked up to the max are generally considered an Outside-Context Problem.
- Mythology Gag:
- The Hunters in the movie are all based on characters from Monster Hunter: World, with the Admiral and the Field Team Leader serving as Deuteragonists.
- Once the Diablos is dead, Artemis carves its body with a knife exactly the way hunters do in the games. And earlier in the film, it sheds one of its horns as it's trying to get to the soldiers.
- At one point, the Hunter cooks monster meat on a hand-rotated barbecue spit. Unfortunately, the cooking song from the games does not make an appearance.
- The chef on the Admiral's ship is a Felyne (referred to by the Hunter as a Palico).
- The Meowscular Chef is seen preparing the Admiral's meal exactly as you would see him in do Monster Hunter: World video game, shot-for-shot.
- The three leads use weapon styles from the games: Artemis uses Dual Swords, the Admiral uses a Switch Axe, and the Hunter uses a Bow, Greatsword, and Insect Glaive.
- Not Quite Dead: Despite grievously injuring it, the Rathalos rises to attack Artemis one last time (almost outright devouring her) before the Hunter manages to finish it off.
- Outside-Context Problem: A team of United States Army Rangers are sent to the New World. They quickly learn that the United States Military doesn't exactly have weapons capable of damaging creatures the size of the Chrysler Building, nor does military training prepare you to handle a Giant Spider swarm. The lone survivor of the squad ends up having to start more or less from scratch to deal with these threats, by learning how the natives fight them. When one of the monsters gets into our world at the end, it confirms further that our world's military firepower doesn't come close to handling them.
- Pineapple Surprise: Steeler does the "makeshift suicide belt" version: yanking the pin from one the grenades on his belt as he is impaled by the Diablos.
- Poor Communication Kills: When the Hunter sees Alpha team, he fires an arrow loaded with red chalk to get their attention. He was trying to warn them of the Diablos nearby. They mistake him for hostile and open fire.
- Product Placement: The first shot of the first scene in Our World is a rusty, but still recognizable can of Coca-Cola lying on the sands of Afghanistan. Later Artemis makes her first efforts of bonding with the Hunter by offering him the remaining bar of her Hershey's chocolate, which delights the latter.
- Ribcage Ridge: Alpha Team discovers a monstrous rib cage poking out of the sand in the desert. when they stop to examine it, they are attacked by a Diablos. The rib cage (and the wrecked vehicles) serve as a major landmark for the rest of the film.
- Running Gag:
- The Hunter's confused grunts whenever Artemis says something in English randomly to him.
- The Hunter again, probably interpreting the word "chocolate" as "food" in his language, as he constantly mentions it to Artemis whenever they take a break to eat New World food.
- Sequel Hook: The end of the movie and the mid-credits scene hints at this with Artemis, the Hunter and the Admiral facing a Gore Magala as a mysterious robed figure watches.
- Shout-Out: What other popular Capcom franchise begins with an Alpha team searching for a Bravo team that's gone M.I.A.?
- The way to injure the Rathalos is the same way the major antagonist dragons were killed in both Reign Of Fire and How to Train Your Dragon.
- Sound Off: While they are driving across the desert, Captain Artemis lead Alpha Team in the traditional cadence "They Say That in the Army" (aka "O Lord, I Want to Go"), Later, she sings it to herself while she is being bait for a Nerscylla.They say that in the army, the pay is mighty fine,
Give you a hundred dollars and take back ninety-nine
- Super-Persistent Predator:
- The Diablos hangs around the flipped Humvee for days after failing to eat Artemis and her squad.
- The Rathalos, who seems to target Artemis to the point that it comes into the real world just to have a shot at her.
- Tastes Like Friendship: After their initial brawling, Artemis gets on the Hunter's good side by offering him a Hershey bar. Amusingly, his initial reaction to the smell is revulsion, indicating that Hershey's 'chocolate' is not a common food in the New World. note
- Trailers Always Spoil: The trailer features the scene of the Rathalos attacking the Boeing E-3 Sentry, giving away the major plot point that at least one of the monsters will get through to Earth.
- Trampled Underfoot: Happens to the Handler during the fight with the Rathalos.