Monster Hunt 2 movie review: This sequel is for those who think bigger is better no matter how hollow the content

Mihir Fadnavis

May 12, 2018 13:43:30 IST


To talk about Monster Hunt 2 one needs to reflect upon a certain line by Drax from Infinity War – why is Monster Hunt 2. This is a standard gigantic CGI extravaganza that you would expect from modern South East Asian movie markets but its reason for existence remains a big mystery because you wonder how films with this sort of content and tone have become the biggest moneymakers in the world.

If you liked the first Monster Hunt movie, chances are you’ll like the sequel as well. Co-directed by Shrek 3’s Raman Hui, the film has everything you expect - the candy floss nature of its action-ey sheen, the plasticky product-ness instead of the cinematic art form that one craves for, and an aftertaste that reminds you of having eaten something deep fried.

Monster Hunt 2 is definitely bigger and more bombastic that the first movie, which makes it targeted towards those who are convinced that bigger is better no matter how hollow the content actually is.

Monster Hunt 2 poster. Image from Facebook.

The film picks up a short while after the events of the previous movie; those who’ve seen the original will recall how, like in Spielberg’s ET a cute little monster named Wuba had crossed over to our world, human heroes tried to take care of it but he had to ultimately go back to his monster kingdom. This time around Wuba returns to our world because he’s being chased by an evil force trying to nab him for nefarious purposes. Wuba bumps into a con man (Tony Leung) who leads a comically shady lifestyle cheating people at gambling, while Wuba’s human foster parents, who feel guilty about letting him go in the previous movie begin a search for him.

The narrative becomes fairly predictable once you realise that everyone in the movie is going to collide at some point and vanquish the forces of evil and save the adorable Wuba. If you’re looking for anything remotely unique in the story department this is not the movie for you. All the film offers are silly sight gags and a multitude of ways to make Leung show off his comedic chops.

It’s actually nice to see him in something goofier after the heavy duty Wong Kar Wai movies. The real draw, of course, is the visual extravaganza and it delivers by the truckload. There are plenty of cuddly looking CGI monsters in the film to keep kids entertained, and a whole buffet of action sequences that grow in size as they escalate. The camaraderie between the ‘good monsters’ and Leung’s character is fairly charming and it’s difficult to hate the filmmakers for doling out an overtly sweet natured film with pure unbridled popcorn entertainment.

One wishes this franchise were more just an inane and syrupy CGI fest and something artistic akin to Kung Fu Hustle.

Watching Monster Hunt 2 feels like seeing a big budget weird YouTube video featuring Chinese people doing weird stuff against canned laughter. With such huge budgets and resources it’s frustrating to get a movie that doesn’t go the extra mile to deliver something that has artistic merit but merely sticks to a safe zone of satisfying ADHD riddled young audiences. As clichéd as it sounds, this is cinematic candy, and though candy is very tasty it is absolutely terrible for your health.

Updated Date: May 12, 2018 13:43:30 IST