NEW YORK – Don't wait for any explanations while viewing the video game adaptation "Monster Hunter" (Screen Gems) because none will be forthcoming.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson, who also wrote the screenplay, has constructed a film made up almost entirely of action sequences untrammeled by exposition.
There's a sort of gleeful purity to the result, at least for enthusiasts of loud, mindless fun who will find themselves sated by a nearly unbroken succession of kinetic, explosive showdowns. Others may be left dazed, confused and yearning for Excedrin.
It helps, a little, that the star of this enterprise is Milla Jovovich, Anderson's real-life spouse and a veteran of the genre. She plays Capt. Natalie Artemis, an Army Ranger who, together with her squadron, has fallen through a portal from Earth into a world teeming with hostile monsters.
The creatures in question range in form from quasi-dinosaurs to giant spiders. But all manifest intense anger issues as well as amazing savvy and acceleration.
The creepy-crawlies dispatch Artemis' comrades early on, leaving her to struggle back to the gateway – mostly through a giant desert – with only a local warrior called The Hunter (Tony Jaa) as an ally. Fortunately, he's a dab hand with giant knives. Artemis, for her part, prefers to deploy artillery.
There must be an audience for this movie somewhere. But, for the most part, only devoted gamers able to distinguish a sand-burrowing Black Diablos, say, from a cave-dwelling Nerscylla or a winged Rathalos will comprehend what's transpiring.
The film contains intense combat violence with some gore and a single profanity. The Catholic News Service classification is A-III – adults. The Motion Picture Association rating is PG-13 – parents strongly cautioned. Some material may be inappropriate for children under 13.
Jensen is a guest reviewer for Catholic News Service.