Another Failed Netflix Opportunity: Monster Hunter: Legends Of The Guild
Popular video games are cursed to have awful film adaptations. From Super Mario to Mortal Kombat, there is no shortage of these regrettable adaptations. Unfortunately, the Monster Hunter series is the next in line. Netflix just released a Monster Hunter film adaptation called Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild on August 12, 2021.
Developed by Pure Imagination Studios, the film follows a young hunter, Aiden, as he seeks to save his village with other hunters from the destruction of an elder dragon. The story’s timeline is set before Monster Hunter 4 and Monster Hunter World.
From accurate depictions to references galore, Monster Hunter (MH) fans are sure to enjoy the film’s compliments despite its flaws.
A Love Letter To Fans
The film is a love letter for long-time fans of the video game series — a double-edged sword as only fans get the numerous references of the film.
For people who live for nostalgia, the animation style reminds them of early 2000’s animation. It’s also reminiscent of the old cut scenes of the early games of the series such as the first and second MH games.
The film featured accurate attack patterns and behavior of the monsters. The Congalala’s movements were the same in the game. The supernova by the Lunastra was animated perfectly.
The weapons were accurate too. True to the source material, the 3 main characters’ weapons and gear are the same as what they would have in the game. Although you can’t get it from a Congalala, one needs a Pparashroom to craft Paralysis Ammo which Nadia used in the film. Nox also used a boomerang as Melynx did use a boomerang for long-range attacks.
Mae is reminiscent of a player who masters the art of tactics and technicalities. From memorizing monster patterns to discerning monster habitats, Mae is a tribute to a set of MH players that loves planning how to hunt.
The monster themes were also accurate. When the Lunastra emerged, the background music was the same as the theme in the game.
The Unfortunate Hunter Execution
As much as we love the references of the film, it has a lot of flaws. The story had to be crammed into a mere 58 minutes. This unfortunately negatively impacted the film’s pacing and character development.
There were tons of forced and irrelevant exposition which made the film a snooze fest for certain scenes.
Meanwhile, the film’s storyline was as quick as a Kirin. The plot was forced to advance at the expense of good character and emotional development. A bad example of this was when characters quickly have a change of heart — which they abusively repeated all throughout the film.
Although the animation was alluring as it served nostalgia, it is bad for today’s standards. It also didn’t help that the voice acting was bad and sometimes it also didn’t sync with the animation.
The scriptwriting wasn’t done well as the characters would also have awkward dialogue most of the time.
The film also failed to stir up meaningful emotional reactions. The deaths of certain characters didn’t matter as they barely mourned after, which basically failed to bring out an emotional impact to their respective deaths. This goes to show that the writer for the film didn’t understand how emotions work.
The fight scene choreography was a mess. The hacking, slashing, and stabbing were chaotic enough that viewers had no idea what’s happening.
The damage outputs weren’t also accurate. Monsters die from only a few stabs — which is a stark contrast to the long-drawn-out battles Monster Hunter is known for. The Lunastra’s supernova didn’t one-shot the protagonists even though the attack was known to deal significant damage in-game.
The Final Verdict
Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild is comparable to Detective Pikachu. Just like the Pokémon film, you watch it for the references and not for the story. The countless MH references surely made the fans chuckle in glee. However, one can’t deny nor excuse the bad execution of the story. It suffers the same fate as other video game series that were turned into films. Thus, Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild is a film specifically made for fans of the video game series — and can only be enjoyed sadly by its fans.
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