Monster Hunter might be a series primarily about groups of ill-equipped humans fending off fantastical monsters the size of a small industrial complex, but that doesn’t necessarily mean there’s no room for that premise to be somewhat grounded in reality. Indeed, Paul W.S. Anderson, something of an expert in adapting the video game world’s most surreal adventures for the big screen, has managed to achieve exactly that in the past with the likes of Mortal Kombat and, to a lesser extent, Resident Evil, but even those, which are traditionally set on Earth, are far easier to explain away than the sudden appearance of mythical beasts.
Even sidestepping the sheer absurdity of the narrative, making the likes of Rathalos and Diablos appear as more than just ethereal computer-generated entities against the backdrop of a green screen was a synthetic aesthetic that Anderson was keen on avoiding.
In a recent interview with We Got This Covered, the filmmaker revealed that to combat the artificial nature of what is essentially a creature feature, he and the crew purposely used real-world locations – not a studio – in which to place Captain Artemis’ larger-than-life foes, the end result being what many will have already seen in their local theater.
” I felt that if I went and shot real amazing landscaped and put the amazing creatures within those landscapes, then the creatures themselves would look more real,” he said, adding, “which I think is exactly the case.”
An excellent decision, then, but is it one that’s paid off? Truth be told, nobody – not even the studio – knows the answer. Due to COVID-19 completely changing the way ticket sales and financial performance are recorded, it could be some time before we can discern if the investment was worth it. But for now, at least, it would appear Monster Hunter has a good chance of warranting itself a sequel down the road.