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‘Monster Hunter’ Review: Beasts of Boredom

Milla Jovovich stars as an Army Ranger trapped in an alternate universe in this video game-derived silliness.
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‘Monster Hunter’ Review: Beasts of Boredom

Milla Jovovich stars as an Army Ranger trapped in an alternate universe in this video game-derived silliness.

Milla Jovovich in “Monster Hunter.”
Milla Jovovich in “Monster Hunter.”Credit...Screen Gems/Sony Pictures
  • Dec. 17, 2020, 7:00 a.m. ET

“Monster Hunter” — 80 percent monsters, 20 percent hunter — proves definitively that neither gaping wounds nor a gargantuan armored earwig can stop Milla Jovovich.

Having accompanied the film’s writer and director, Paul W.S. Anderson, through multiple chapters of his “Resident Evil” franchise, Jovovich is well prepared to class up this latest video game-derived nonsense. The opening alone is a hoot and a half: A giant galleon heaving and bucking across a storm-tossed desert, captained by a worried-looking Ron Perlman and pursued beneath the sand by the aforementioned earwig. Someone has been reading too much Frank Herbert.

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The sandstorm also strands Lt. Artemis (Jovovich) and her Army Ranger unit in this parallel universe, populated by “Lost World”-style critters and the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa). When her team noisily succumbs to cave-dwelling spider-thingies that incubate their young in human skin, Artemis decides to team up with Hunter and, well, do something. He doesn’t speak English and the script doesn’t speak coherence, so their plans are necessarily vague.

Luckily, Perlman shows up again to introduce his personal chef — a man-sized cat wearing a cat-sized hat — and explain about the mysterious tower that opens the gateway between worlds and will no doubt feature prominently in the inevitable sequel. Until then, we’re left to process a Post-it-sized plot, numbing fight sequences and dialogue along the lines of “My God!” and “Aargh!”

Jovovich, though, remains limber, leggy and — like her lipstick — damn near indestructible. And that’s very good news for schlocky pictures like this one.

Monster HunterRated PG-13 for spider-filled pustules and poison-filled entrails. Running time: 1 hour 39 minutes. In theaters. Please consult the guidelines outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching movies inside theaters.

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