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THE MOVIE GUY — ’Tis the season for giant monster fun

Monster Hunter

Tencent Pictures

Directed by Paul W.S. Anderson

Starring Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa, Ron Perlman, T.I., Meagan Good and Diego Boneta

Rated PG-13

 

2½ Stars

 

’Tis the season when all good film critics are busy watching high-minded art films in order to complete our annual lists of the year’s best movies. That means that there are dozens upon dozens of foreign films, experimental shorts, documentaries and all those overlong, arty-farty dramas that need to be screened within the next week or so.

Six or seven films a day gets to be mind-numbing.

Enter Monster Hunter, a disposable sci-fi adventure featuring Milla Jovovich and an impressive collection of giant monsters. Refreshingly, nobody is claiming that this film is high art. It’s simply a film that delivers on its titular promise.

Monsters? Check.

A team of monster hunters? Check.

What more do you want?

Based on the Capcom video game, Jovovich is once again directed by the man behind her Resident Evil movies, which should give you a good idea of the tone of this film. She is also teamed up with martial arts superstar Tony Jaa, plus cult fanboy favorite actor Ron Perlman and the rapper T.I.

These actors will give the film some extra appeal, but none of them can hold a candle to those giant monsters, who are the real stars here.

These giant beasts look fantastic and provide plenty of fuel for the film. Like the video game, this is one massive fight after another, as Jovovich takes on giant spiders, dragons, sandworms and other slavering beasts.

She has proven herself to be an accomplished action heroine, and these monsters prove to be a far greater test of her fighting skills than anything she faced in the Resident Evil franchise.

Not to be left out, Jaa gets his moments to shine as well, and there’s a nice comic chemistry at times between the two leads. The rest of the cast is only there to become monster chow, so I suppose it’s not a big problem that they don’t make much of an impact.

The special effects more than compensate for the disposable actors. These giant beasts absolutely deserve to be seen on a giant screen, which is why you’ll only be able to catch Monster Hunter in movie theaters this weekend.

Monster Hunter doesn’t have a great screenplay, but it doesn’t need one. It doesn’t feature believable dialogue, but it doesn’t need that either.

The editing is still over-cut for my taste, but Anderson’s fans will forgive the film’s non-stop pace and cutting style.

The bottom line here is that the film has great looking monsters, a kick-butt heroine and her impressive martial arts co-star. Monster Hunter isn’t great, but it is certainly a lot of fun, especially if you’re somebody who just wants to turn off his brain and watch some monsters getting hunted up on a giant movie screen.

It opens Dec. 18

 

Movie reviews by Sean McBride, “The Movie Guy,” are published each week by Port Arthur Newsmedia and seen weekly on KFDM and Fox4. Sean welcomes your comments via email at smcbride@sbgtv.com.

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