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Monster Hunter movie trailer, cast, release date for the video game adaptation

Resident Evil star Milla Jovovich and Thai icon Tony Jaa team up to kill monsters in Monster Hunter, based on the Capcom games. Here’s everything to know.

Originally Published: 
Sony Pictures

This article about the film Monster Hunter was originally published on October 15, 2020 and updated on December 18, 2021 following the movie’s release. Read on for the original article, with some new changes to reflect the latest updates on this topic.

With the Resident Evil movies behind her, Milla Jovovich is hunting a new video game film franchise to lead. And she's found it in 2020's Monster Hunter. Based on the popular Capcom video games, here's everything you need to know about Monster Hunter, including its plot synopsis, trailer, cast, story details, and more.

When is the release date for Monster Hunter?

Monster Hunter was released in the United States on December 18, 2020. The movie was initially scheduled to come out in April of that year, but was delayed a whole year to 2021 because of movie theaters shuttering due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But after the film had a less-than-stellar release in China in early December due to an insulting joke in the film aimed at the country causing controversy. Sony chose to bump up the U.S. release to later that month.

What is Monster Hunter?

Monster Hunter is an adaptation of the Capcom video games. The first game was released in 2004 for the PlayStation 2. Though it received modest reviews, it spawned sequels that gave way to a franchise with a dedicated fandom.

Each game takes place in a fantasy setting where players take control of a "Hunter," who can slay or trap giant monsters across landscapes. Players level up by killing monsters to gain experience and loot to attain improved weapons, armor, and other gear. It is the second best-selling franchise at Capcom next to Resident Evil.

Milla Jovovich and Tony Jaa star in ‘Monster Hunter.’

Sony Pictures

What is the plot of the Monster Hunter movie?

Monster Hunter, directed by Paul W.S. Anderson (who has also helmed the billion-dollar Resident Evil film franchise with wife Jovovich), adds the usual Hollywood zhush that is typically not popular with hardcore fans but appealing to a broad audience.

In a change of setting that drew criticism from fans, the film takes place in the modern-day as a United Nations military unit falls through a portal that places them in another world populated by monsters. There, the soldiers meet "The Hunter," a native who knows how to fight and kill the monsters.

Where can I watch the trailer for Monster Hunter?

Sony released the trailer for Monster Hunter on October 14, 2020, which you can see in the embed below.

Who is starring in Monster Hunter?

Monster Hunter has a surprisingly strong cast that will make it worth the price of admission. Or rental.

  • Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil) as Captain Natalie Artemis, leader of a U.N. military team.
  • Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak) as The Hunter, an alien native who knows how to kill and hunter monsters.
  • Clifford "T.I." Harris (Ant-Man) as a unit soldier, Link.
  • Meagan Good (Shazam!) as another, currently unnamed soldier.
  • Diego Boneta (Terminator: Dark Fate) in an unnamed role.
  • Josh Helman (Mad Max Fury Road) in an unnamed role.
  • Jin "MC Jin" Au-Yeung in an unnamed role.
  • Ron Perlman (Hellboy) as Admiral.

Gore Magala, one of the most popular monsters in the 'Monster Hunter' franchise, appears in the trailer for the movie.

Sony Pictures Publicity

Why is Monster Hunter drawing criticism?

The issue fans are taking with the film is that it isn't tapping into the game's inherent colorful fantasy setting and instead spotlighting heroes from a modern-day western military.

While each Monster Hunter game is different, all of them are variations of a party of fantastical heroes hunting for monsters in vivid worlds. While the trailer for the movie does feature big swords, big monsters, and other worlds, the aesthetic is still too familiar and safe. The movie bears a strong resemblance to Anderson's Resident Evil films, a series of wildly lucrative movies that creatively divorced itself from the games.

Can I see more images of Monster Hunter?

Sure! Sony has already released a collection of hi-res images from the movie, which you can see below.

Milla Jovovich stars in 'Monster Hunter' as a U.N. military squad leader whose unit lands in another world full of monsters.

Sony Pictures

Jovovich, in 'Monster Hunter.'

Sony Pictures

Tony Jaa, a Thai superstar trained in Muay Thai kickboxing, stars in 'Monster Hunter' as a character known only as "The Hunter."

Sony Pictures

What did critics have to say about Monster Hunter?

Monster Hunter has a 45% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and a score of 47 on Metacritic. The reviews were mixed, with many praising the imagery and action, criticizing the lack of creativity or coherence in its plot and characters.

Monster Hunter arrived in theaters on December 30, 2020.

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