Based on the video game series of the same name, Paul W.S. Anderson's Monster Hunter delivers enjoyable mindless, B-quality shlock, starring Milla Jovovich, Tony Jaa and Ron Perlman. The entertainingly bonkers adaptation teleports to Blu-ray with a monstrously awesome audio and video presentation but a disappointingly puny set of supplements. Nevertheless, the overall package is Recommended for the curious.
You can read our full thoughts on Paul W.S. Anderson's Monster Hunter in our review of the 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray HERE.
Vital Disc Stats: The Blu-ray
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment brings Monster Hunter to Blu-ray with a Digital Copy code. The lone Region Free BD50 disc is housed in the standard blue keepcase. At startup, viewers are directly taken to a static screen with the usual menu options along the bottom while music plays in the background.
The fantasy actioner debuts on Blu-ray with a marvelous 1080p/AVC MPEG-4 encode with several demo-worthy moments, boasting a spot-on contrast balance and a sumptuous array of colors. Right from the start, the exterior daylight sequences in the desert display brilliant, dazzling whites in the clouds and in various articles of clothing while highlights are radiantly crisp and right on the money. The cinematography is showered in richly-saturated, full-bodied primaries and vivid secondary-hues while skin tones appear accurate and healthy. Shot on the Arri Alexa system, the freshly-minted transfer also showcases razor-sharp details from start to finish, exposing every grain of sand, the tiny crevices in the rock formations and the small threading in the costumes. Facial complexions are highly revealing, showing the smallest pore and negligible blemish with lifelike texture.
The only minor drawback worth noting is the small dip in brightness levels during a few nighttime sequences. On the whole, blacks are on target with strong shadow details, which is most appreciable in the final battle at the Sky Tower. However, in the early sequence when Artemis is escaping the Nerscyllas lair with a flare, the shadows tend to look crush while also showing some mild chroma noise. Aside from that, the HD video makes for a gorgeous watch. (Video Rating: 94/100)
Anderson's bonkers video game adaptation roars into home theaters with a gargantuanly awesome, reference-quality DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 soundtrack, sure to give any system a thorough workout. The most prominent and demanding aspect of this lossless mix is undoubtedly in the low-frequency effects, which pack an earth-shattering, couch-shaking wallop to every action sequence. There are also several moments that dig deep into the ultra-low depths, well below 30Hz, with palpable weight, adding that little extra to the size of the monsters (bass chart). On the opposite end, the mid-range maintains outstanding clarity and definition in the upper frequencies, even during the ear-piercing shrieks of the creatures or the lightning bolts from Sky Tower. All the while, dialogue remains crystal clear and precise in the center.
Rear activity is at a near-constant once the storm makes an appearance, sending debris throughout the room with excellent directionality and flawless panning. The roar of the monsters echoes all around, the wind faintly blows across the sides, and thunder reverberates in every direction. Even during the many quieter sequences, the score bleeds into the surrounds, or various atmospherics are subtly employed to maintain an immersive 360° soundfield. Imaging continuously feels broad and expansive, layered with lots of background activity that smoothly travel across the three front channels. (Audio Rating: 98/100)
There is only one proper way for watching a Paul W.S. Anderson movie, and that is to set all expectations aside and simply enjoy the mindless, popcorn silliness. Based on the video game series of the same name, Monster Hunter not only demonstrates he has made a career at B-quality escapism, but that he is also decently good at churning out surprisingly entertaining shlock, especially when framing action vehicles for Milla Jovovich. The entertainingly bonkers adaptation teleports to Blu-ray with a monstrously gorgeous HD presentation and thunderous, reference-quality DTS-HD MA soundtrack. Featuring a disappointingly puny set of supplements, the overall package is nonetheless recommended for those curious and daring enough to face this monster.