Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild review: a Netflix movie for fans

In a body story bookending Netflix’s quick animated film Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild, one Hunter, Aiden, takes a web page from the veteran sailor Quint in Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. On a ship crusing to a brand new world, excited Hunters chat about how they’ll take down the elder dragon Zorah Magdaros. Aiden doesn’t run his fingernails down a chalkboard to close them up, or wax poetically about doll’s eyes, and he’s a 20-something redhead, not a surly previous fisherman. However the vibe is similar. Elder dragons are critical threats, and Aiden has a narrative from his previous to inform his new Hunter associates, for instance why they need to be afraid.

Aiden is a facet character from a number of of the Monster Hunter games, however Legends of the Guild follows a a lot youthful Aiden, a child from a small village who needs to be a Guild-sanctioned Monster Hunter — just like players are in the game franchise. And whereas the 58-minute movie is messy, it nails that early Monster Hunter feeling of being new to the hunt and desirous to take down some massive critters.

Each Hunter’s journey

The Palico Nox greets Aiden in Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild

Picture: Netflix

Aiden’s journey begins identical to many gamers’ tales, with him searching a small, comparatively innocent monster. However in contrast to in a Monster Hunter recreation’s early missions, Aiden’s Velociprey hunt will get interrupted by a Velocidrome, a a lot greater model of the raptorlike monster. Earlier than the Velocidrome can end Aiden off, a extra seasoned Hunter swoops in and takes it out with ease — a sense that any new Hunter who has performed with seasoned associates is nicely conscious of.

The remainder of Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild’s runtime options Aiden and Julius — the Geralt lookalike Guild Hunter who saved Aiden — attempting to cease a rampaging Teostra earlier than it wipes out a valley’s price of villages. And right here, we see Aiden go from a wannabe Hunter with a forged iron skillet strapped to his chest to a real slayer of beasts.

Aiden’s “coaching” is what Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild will get proper. Not solely does he ask excitedly in regards to the greater, scarier monsters he’s desirous to hunt, however he fails spectacularly in opposition to every monster he and Julius encounter. Whereas Julius and different Hunters attempt to tackle creatures, Aiden fulfills the function of the participant avatar, getting strung up in webs, dragged round arenas, and hit by a lot of the monster’s assaults.

In true Monster Hunter style, Aiden’s blunders make his group’s hunt far more durable than it must be. However when the hunt is over and Aiden is overwhelmed, bruised, and lined in viscera, he’s thrilled at his group’s minor accomplishment. It’s the identical enthusiasm that propels all gamers via their early Monster Hunter journey, regardless of how badly they’ve fumbled. All through Aiden’s story, he builds new confidence and folds the second issues get troublesome. However he grows from every hunt.

Getting Monster Hunter proper

Hunters discuss monsters over drinks in a warmly lit interior space in Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild

Picture: Netflix

It’s a bit trite, however Legends of the Guild does a pleasant job of progressing Aiden down the Hunter’s path. He goes from fumbling via a hunt, to false confidence, to failing on the first signal of actual hassle, to lastly being that hero Hunter each participant finally ends up as in the event that they stick to the sequence. It’s a relatable journey, and one which Monster Hunter followers know nicely.

Whereas Legends of the Guild does nicely with the license — the toughest a part of making one thing like this — it does fail on some fairly primary ranges. The modifying can result in complicated cuts and odd digital camera shifts. The CG-animated artwork fashion appears to be like first rate on the poster, however the faces are flat and boring in movement. And the film tries to pack an excessive amount of character backstory into a really quick runtime.

However as a fan of the video games, I didn’t really feel like my time spent watching Aiden’s hunt was fully wasted. Legends of the Guild is clearly made by individuals who perceive how the video games work, and need to see that translated to a unique medium.

Director Steve Yamamoto has labored on visible results — largely as a previsualization supervisor — for some visible feasts like Justice League, Deadpool 2, and the Transformers motion pictures. However Legends of the Guild is his directorial debut, and there are sure to be some rising pains there. The movie’s points might dissolve in a sequel with a much bigger finances, a much less awkward midlength runtime (both longer or shorter can be extra appropriate), and a extra skilled director, whether or not it’s Yamamoto’s second time on the wheel, or a brand new director altogether. However the take care of Capcom’s license can’t be taught.

Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild could result in a divided film viewing expertise: Audiences unfamiliar with Monster Hunter received’t get a lot out of this story, however Hunters will see themselves in Aiden’s adventures, and that’s price an hour of messy modifying and ugly artwork.

Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild is streaming on Netflix now. | Monster Hunter: Legends of the Guild assessment: a Netflix film for followers


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