Streaming services such as Netflix and Disney+ have benefited greatly from the coronavirus pandemic as most movie theaters have gone dark during COVID days. Amazon is another who has benefited and one movie, in particular, Monster Hunter, has seen steady business on Amazon in the United States. The Milla Jovovich film has been situated in the top ten most-watched list for the past several weeks.
Monster Hunter is the sixth collaboration between actress Milla Jovovich and her husband, writer/director Paul W.S. Anderson. The movie is based on the popular Capcom Monster Hunter video game franchise that has five main games and numerous spin-offs, giving Anderson plenty of material to play with.
Milla Jovovich stars as Captain Natalie Artemis who, as those of you who follow the video game series, is not from the Monster Hunter universe. Anderson made it a point he leaned on when creating his Monster Hunter world. His idea was to bring a character from our world into Monster Hunter’s. “I wanted to recapture the feeling of when I first played the video game. I came to the game not knowing anything about it. And as a stranger, I was immersed in this world containing these amazing landscapes and these amazing creatures that would kick my ass,” Anderson said via IGN. “And I thought, ‘I want that. That should be the film going experience as well.'”
So, Milla Jovovich’s Captain Artemis leads a United Nations team on a search of missing soldiers in the desert when a sudden storm hits. This storm takes Artemis and her group into a portal, where they land on the other side in the New World, where life is much different but even more deadly than where they came from. But this is where they also find the remains of the missing soldiers they were searching for. As the group locates the now-dead soldiers, another group from the New World, called the Diablos, approaches Artemis and her squad. The Hunter (played by Tony Jaa) has also been watching and he fires a warning shot to signal Artemis. The Diablos attack anyway, killing two members of Artemis’ crew.
Milla Jovovich’s Artemis and the surviving members escape and hide in a cave where they are attacked by monsters. Artemis is injected with venom that leaves her paralyzed while the others try to fight off the monsters. When she wakes, Artemis is trapped in a monster lair with her team either dead or infected with monster spawn. She finally escapes, running into Hunter above ground. They briefly duke it out, only to finally come to the conclusion they will need to work together.
Milla Jovovich’s Artemis learns how to fight using the Hunter’s famed bladed weapons and as she learns, she also is told that the portal with which she traveled was created by the Sky Tower, a structure that is located across the desert. They will have to fight and kill the Diablos if they are to make it safely. The ensuing battle causes the Hunter to be gravely wounded, so Artemis has to build a stretcher to walk the Hunter across the desert.
Here, the pair come in contact with a Rathalos, a fire-breathing dragon, but are rescued by the Admiral (Ron Perlman) and his group. The Admiral passes on more important information to Artemis concerning the Sky Tower when more monsters appear, as well as a portal that sends Artemis back to her own world. Do monsters follow? Does Artemis close the portal in time?
As with many films scheduled for release in 2020, Monster Hunter was affected by the pandemic. It had an initial release date of September 4, 2020, but was delayed until December 18, 2020. With most of the movie theaters closed upon its release, Monster Hunter didn’t enjoy a big box office. Anderson made his Milla Jovovich-led movie for around $60 million and to date, the movie has brought in only half of that.
Milla Jovovich is no stranger to science fiction action movies. Her first big break came in the 1997 hit The Fifth Element starring as Leeloo and then went to find success in Anderson’s Resident Evil franchise. She starred in the vastly underrated (non-science fiction) thriller A Perfect Getaway and also starred in another Anderson film, his vision of The Three Musketeers (a fun flick). But Jovovich is best known for her star turns in sci-fi action. Along with the abovementioned sci-fi films, she has also been seen in Ultraviolet, The Fourth Kind, Future World, Hellboy, and Milla Jovovich’s next movie looks to be another collaboration with Anderson, co-starring with Dave Bautista in In the Lost Lands.