Starring: Bai Baihe, Jing Boran, Jiang Wu
Director: Raman Hui
Running Time: 111 mins
Monster Hunt is a Chinese film about a world where humans and monsters co-exist, but remain strong enemies, until a man and a woman are tasked with protecting the baby king of the monsters from hunters on both human and monster sides.
This is a pretty fun adventure film, with a lot of laughs, decent action, cool special effects, and an entertaining, if not generic plot. However, the overwhelming vibe you get from this film is one of pure insanity, thanks to its often surreal fantasy elements, three random outbursts of song, and extremely stupid comedy thrown in within the rest of it.
That insanity can be a good thing or a bad thing, and, fortunately, it’s more of a good thing here. The film wouldn’t have its fantastic energy and zany entertainment factor if it didn’t go so overboard with the madness of it all. In the film, you have a man becoming pregnant, these weirdly-designed CGI monster creatures, and all the crazy action you could ever want, with more fighting than Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but it’s that madness that makes this film at times so entertaining.
One of the biggest standouts of the movie to me was the actress Bai Baihe, playing the female lead, who is arguably the main protagonist ahead of the male lead and the baby monster king that the two have to protect. Her character isn’t really that interesting or anything, but Bai’s performance is so full of extreme energy, in both the action sequences, comedy sequences and even the occasional dramatic sequence, that she’s just an absolute delight to watch on screen throughout, bringing a huge amount of life to the film in her performance alone.
I said earlier on that there is a lot of extremely stupid comedy in this film. For the most part, that’s true, and there is a big emphasis on slapstick and a degree of toilet humour, considering that this film is also suitable for kids. However, the comedy isn’t always completely braindead, and although the silly stuff does make you laugh, it has some brilliantly funny moments where the jokes are just a little more subtle, and that makes a huge difference to make this feel almost nothing like a kids’ movie, but more so one that is perfectly suited for anyone to watch.
In general, the film’s not outstanding, and its plot follows an extremely generic action-comedy formula, but what you do get out of it is an immensely enjoyable experience, and for that reason, I’m going to give Monster Hunt a 7.5.