Monster Hunter review roundup: here’s what the critics are saying

Monster Hunter
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

The Monster Hunter reviews are in – and they’re not all that positive. The movie stars Milla Jovovich as Artemis, Tony Jaa as the Hunter, Ron Perlman as Admiral, and T.I. as Link, and is directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Anderson and Jovovich previously teamed up for the cinematic adaptations of Resident Evil.

With Monster Hunter reviews finally reaching the internet before the movie releases in American cinemas this week, we've rounded up the critical reactions. They're quite something. Our own review will be forthcoming.

IGN – Zaki Hasan – 3/10

“We may be barreling towards the tail end of December, but it seems 2020 isn’t done with us yet: under the wire, it’s delivered one of the worst action movies in recent memory, and another addition to the Video Game Movie Adaptation Hall of Shame… here comes the latest cinematic game defenestration, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunter, to remind us how rare good video game movies are.”

Variety – Peter Debruge – N/A

“As a filmmaker, Anderson has a take-it-or-leave-it style that confounds many, but pleases enough to sustain a career making hyper-visual effects-heavy movies that play like feature-length trailers: Event Horizon, Alien vs. Predator, Pompeii and the four aforementioned Resident Evil movies. Monster Hunter is no different in that it moves along at a steady clip, dispensing with all but the most rudimentary character details in order to maximise the stuff that excites the fans — namely, striking compositions and carnage.”

Indie Wire – David Ehrlich – D-

“From that point on, “Monster Hunter” is relentlessly terrible even by 2020 standards, as it quickly descends into a dull and colourless bit of bug-hunting that marries the production value of a SyFy Original with the scale of a tutorial level, resulting in one of the drabbest and least imaginative video game movies ever made. Series fans will feel cheated by such a chintzy and incurious take on something they love, while the rest of us will be left wondering how the source material earned itself any fans in the first place.”

The Hollywood Reporter – John DeFore – N/A

“More an expensive VFX demo reel than a story, the latest Paul W.S. Anderson film hopes to take yet another video game, Capcom's Monster Hunter, and turn it into a money-minting movie franchise. Teaming again with wife Milla Jovovich, star of his hugely successful Resident Evil series (also based on a Capcom franchise), the writer-director tacitly acknowledges his lack of interest in dialogue by introducing a co-star, Tony Jaa, whose character speaks no English. A few flashes of amused chemistry between the two actors represent all the human interest in this unimaginative sci-fi actioner, but that doesn't mean the pic's relentless focus on giant-monster battles won't please the director's fans.”

Entertainment Weekly – Christian Holub – C

“It sells itself as a movie about Milla Jovovich fighting CGI monsters, and it is indeed a movie about Milla Jovovich fighting CGI monsters – no more and no less. Like Jovovich's previous collaborations with her husband, director Paul W.S. Anderson, on the Resident Evil films, Monster Hunter is based off a video game franchise. It certainly feels like an old-fashioned video game: Plot doesn't really matter, there's not much character development to speak of, but there is a lot of fighting against an endless swarm of enemies.”

Comic Book – Rollin Bishop – 2/5

“Monster Hunter ultimately flirts with being an absolutely fine movie while just managing to miss the mark. It’s not going to change hearts and minds, but seeing a military convoy try to take on Diablos and others is exactly as thrilling as it sounds. It just lacks the attention to detail that, say, Pacific Rim has to its world and characters. By the end of the film, I didn’t really understand why I was supposed to care about anyone still left alive beyond the fact that they remained on the screen. Monster Hunter is the energy drink of movies; a quick shock of energy followed mostly by a headache.”

Monster Hunter is released in the US this December 18 2020. While you wait, check out our guide to all of 2020 and 2021’s movie release dates.

Molly Edwards
Entertainment Writer

I'm an Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for the site's Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after graduating with a BA in English.