By Corey Lack
When I heard about the announcement of the Monster Hunter movie, I could just hear the fans of the video game series throwing hissy fits already. When the trailer came out and I read the YouTube comments, they did not disappoint. As an avid gamer who’s probably played millions of hours by now, I can certainly understand having strong emotions about their favorite games. That said, I’m not sure what they want from the movie versions of the games. Time after time, new game series are made into movies, but the fans never seem to be happy.
The most recent example was, ironically, another Capcom series starring Mila Jovovich: the Resident Evil series. The series introduced a new character, played by Jovovich, and had her character go through a new story that was loosely based on some of the events of the games. That said, people were just lambasting this series from the get-go. They went after everything from the introduction of the new character to not following the story of the games to the most well-known characters of the series not being seen often enough. I can’t say the movies were the best they could have been. God knows they had their issues, not least of which was the time skips that happened between the movies and how some of the characters would just disappear from the script, never to be seen or referenced again. That said, I felt they were a lot better than the dumpster fires that a lot of fans seemed to think they are. I applaud the introduction of new characters and new plots because then the viewers won’t automatically know what is going to happen. As for the lack of classic video game characters, I didn’t particularly have an issue with it, since most of the characters have always struck me as lackluster and, at times, obnoxious and stupid. The movies do away with that fact by having the main character take the place of the alternating main characters of the games and making her better able to handle the situation.
Another series that people constantly reference is the Hitman series. Both of the movies that have different aspects that people don’t feel were close enough to the video game series. The first one had the issue of Agent 47’s movie personality not being the same as in the game where he has all the personality of a block of wood. The second movie had this personality, but the movie was much more action and gunfight oriented as opposed to the game where the player tends to take a slower and more careful path through the story. While I wasn’t a big fan of the first movie, the second one was, in my opinion, a much more suitable adaptation of the game series. Taking the gameplay directly to the big screen would have just resulted in a slow and likely very boring movie.
Now, let’s discuss the most recent movie: the Monster Hunter movie. The instant this was announced people started attacking it for having American soldiers go into the world of Monster Hunter with guns and vehicles. Once again, like with the Hitman series, creating a movie that is an exact representation of the games would not go well in theaters, likely even less than the current version would. The video games focus on the player hunting various creatures and using their materials to make new armor and weapons so that they can take on strong enemies and get better materials. There is usually very little plot for the games, so this would just be a waste of time to see. At least this version seems to offer a decent plot and it brings a pretty accurate showing of the game world.
So, what’s my point in all of this? It is simple. Fans need to decide what they want in these. They have issues with the movies taking a new, separate path from the video game series and are upset when they aren’t exactly like said games, even when games would be terrible if taken straight into the big screen. If you don’t believe me, then go onto a YouTube video of a walkthrough for any of the game series and imagine watching that for two hours. It would be slow and insanely boring. Fans need to give these movies a fair shake without going into it with preconceived opinions.
I am a graduate student at Northern Kentucky University. I like writing fantasy and science fiction, playing video games, and watching movies.