Monster Hunter (4K Blu-ray Review)

Monster Hunter quietly appeared in homes just before the new year.  With the pandemic seemingly never ending, viewers got a little escape into a not-so-distant future with a fun and escapist fantasy action film.  Does the film stand up to others in its field.  Do Paul W.S. Anderson and his wife and muse Milla Jovavich deliver the goods? Or are we just watching “Resident Evil: Monsters too!” Find out more in our super late coverage below and grab your copy using the paid link at the end!


Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Captain Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit (T.I. Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Ron Perlman). Facing a danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown.

All I can say is: What a pleasant surprise this one turned out to be. Confession: I’m not a gamer.  I’ve never been a gamer. I don’t intend to become one.  Something about video games just make me uninterested in them.  I get they’ve got mega-fans and much like physical media, some people who game follow series like a cult. Monster Hunter is no exception in the gaming world.  Helmed by Paul W.S. Anderson, this particular video game adaptation really gets things right.  Right from the opening, the movie goes full steam ahead.  When Artemis and her team transport to the new world, we are just as lost as them, working through the insanity to figure it out just like them.  Huge losses come immediately and if you’re like me, these losses come as a huge shock.

As far as creature features go, this one hits the mark there as well. Special effects are often top notch and really help you to get lost in the new world also.  You’re cringing, you’re cowering, you’re maybe even covering your eyes.  I won’t give too much up about the monsters in the film (they’re a highlight and also make good use of CGI that’s as effective as can be) but be prepared to actually be taken aback by some of them.

Performance wise, I love the work between Jovavich and Jaa.  They eventually become a great team and there gets to be a bit of fun thrown in with the dialogue or some scenes.  Ron Perlman does his best in a terrible set of wigs and wardrobe and the support players all come in and have fun in their smaller roles too.  Again, the monsters are front and center here, so don’t expect a ton of character development or depth.

The only real complaint I could have about this film is that in retrospect it is a little on the simple side of things.  Monster Hunter gets right to business and doesn’t have aspirations to be deep and meaningful that way.  The cool thing is, the film gets this right.  I had a lot of fun with Monster Hunter and gamer or not, I still was able to dive in and have a wild ride.  This is one I can definitely recommend.


  • Encoding:HEVC / H.265
  • Resolution:4K (2160p)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
  • Layers:BD-100
  • Clarity/Detail: Much to a 4K fan’s delight, this is a stunning 4K presentation. There is constant, consistent color saturation and deep blacks.  Images seem to pop right off the screen, especially the monsters in the action sequences. There is no softness to this image whatsoever and there are so many highlights, it’s hard to single out just one specific scene to place.  Mind blown… Sony perfection!
  • Depth: Depth is handled deftly throughout the transfer. Outdoor exteriors rule the roost and so much of what you see in opening shots and wide shots is rather stunning to the eye.
  • Black Levels: Black levels are reference grade here. No crush, no loss of shadow detail. Perfect as perfect can be.
  • Color Reproduction: The color palette for this film is rather basic, but those colors still come to life on the screen.Desert sands, tropic greens and more look incredible rendered through the HDR pass.
  • Flesh Tones: Humans look nice and natural in this transfer. No silly putty people or facial smoothing to be found.
  • Noise/Artifacts: Pristine.


  • Audio Format(s):English Dolby Atmos, English Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Francais 5.1 (Dubbed in Quebec), Español 5.1
  • Subtitles:English SDH, Francais, Español
  • Dynamics: The word of the day is… DYNAMIC. This one starts out incredible. The soundstage is good and wide with ample spacing for all kinds of surround activity. Bass is reference too! Nothing is lost to this mix and you’re in for a treat right from the Sony logo!
  • Height: Height channels are active in many action sequences and have a field day any time a monster is on screen. There really aren’t moments where the height speakers aren’t utilized in just the right way.
  • Surround Sound Presentation: Surrounds are always active in the mix. Whether adding more to the musical score, bring in off-screen sound or taking you right into the “new world” the surrounds work overtime to bring you right into the action with Milla!
  • Low Frequency Extension: Bass is a highlight of the mix. Monster sounds dig deep, as do any type of hit, stab or explosion.  The subwoofer works its magic as much as possible and what a deep rumble it has! Demo worthy bass is to be experienced with this one.
  • Dialogue Reproduction: Dialogue is perfectly rendered.


Besides the slipcover, bundled 1080p Blu-ray and the substandard slipcover, Monster Hunter comes home with the following features on the 4K disc as well as the 1080p one:

  • The Monster Hunters (1080p, 7:51): On the characters and cast – Some you’ll know from the games and others created just for the film
  • For the Players: Game to Screen(1080p, 6:40): Anderson on his love for the MH Game series, the work leading up to the filming and getting the monsters from game to screen. (Hence the title…)
  • Monstrous Arsenal (1080p, 5:02): Looking at some of the weapons that appear in the games and also appear in the film.
  • Deleted Scenes (1080p): Included are Steeler Joke #1 (1:31) and Steeler Joke #2 (1:53).
  • Previews (2160p/HDR, 2:33): A preview for Ghostbuster: Afterlife


I honestly was blown away by Monster Hunter. To take a line from many a 90’s action movie review: This is one “Helluva” ride.  Fun, silly, even downright dumb, I needed to see this movie.  I had a sense of joy I haven’t had in a while watching it, and I recommend it just as I said… expect big, loud and sorta stupid, and you’ve got fantasy/action gold. Also, the reference grade transfer and audio are a huge bonus!!

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