Monster Hunter is loaded for bear with talented martial artists and has a director who knows how to shoot action, which is why the shoot ‘em up, green-screen-galore trailer is so disappointing. Director Paul W.S. Anderson has been trying to get this movie made since 2012, and filming in South Africa wrapped back in 2018.
Anderson’s wife, Milla Jovovich, stars as Captain Artemis. As Artemis is leading a convoy of elite military forces they stumble through a portal to another dimension inhabited by giant monsters. Tony Jaa plays a hunter in the monster-infested world who helps the American soldiers.
As previously covered on Bloody Elbow, Jovovich has trained extensively in martial arts, and performs many of her own stunts. She began in Tae Kwon Do, moved to wushu, but now largely trains in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Jaa, meanwhile, is a phenomenal martial artist and anyone who is a fan of the genre should really check out his breakout role in 2003’s Ong-Bak: Muay Thai Warrior. Jaa famously performed all of his own stunts in that film without benefit of wires, safety nets, or CGI, and only suffered two serious injuries while doing it. In addition to Monster Hunter, Jaa can be found in this year’s Jiu Jitsu. That film stars Nic Cage and a whole lotta crazy (perhaps a redundant statement).
It’s nice to see Jaa is cashing checks, but it would be even nicer to see him cashing checks and getting to use the skills he has honed over a lifetime of hard work. But perhaps Monster Hunter has some tricks up its sleeve not revealed in the trailer?
Rounding out the cast are two rappers, T.I. and Jin Au-Yeung, model and actress Meagan Good, and perennial monster movie mainstay, Ron Perlman.
Monster Hunter will be released in theaters December 30th.
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