Monster Hunter: Legends of The Guild is a Netflix Original film and just dropped on the platform this week. It was originally announced in 2018, but we hadn’t heard anything about it for years until a surprise announcement in mid-July.
The film kicks off with the fifth fleet discussing an upcoming bout with Zorah Magdaros, but Aiden interrupts to talk about how he faced an elder dragon once. The rest of the movie continues as a flashback recounting Aiden’s proper debut as a hunter. Back when he was presumably teen-aged he lived in a remote village nestled in a valley. One day when attempting to retrieve domestic Gargwas, he’s attacked by a Velocidrome that turns out to be a bit too much to handle. Luckily a real hunter, Julius, saves him, but has come to tell everyone to evacuate as their village is directly in line with an Elder Dragon’s migration path. The story continues in an easily predictable fashion with Aiden causing frequent trouble with his overconfidence, resulting in minor conflict with the experienced hunter. Also the movie decides to give an explanation for Aiden’s monster puns.
In early parts and outer shots, the appearance is unappealing and frankly gives me a “if Shrek got a HD remaster ala we put it in Unreal Engine 4” kind of vibe. Of course Capcom and Pure Imagination Studios have nothing to do with either property. Later on, more stunning visuals arrive in the form of monster flairs or great textures like Nadia’s hair. The monsters are a bit brighter but don’t look much better than their appearances in Monster Hunter World.
In a lot of scenes characters move just too fast and are a tad jumpy with one minor character moving quite stiffly. The facial expressions range from the overacting seen by Tik-Tok-ers to almost entirely lacking. It’s hard to believe with the awkward dubbing but according to Netflix’s audio options, English is the original language. Pairing with it the voice acting is nothing special but thankfully nothing awful either. While I was sad to not notice any of the usual sound effects, the soundtrack was happy to oblige with instrumental monster themes and more from the series.
There’s a handful of fight scenes which get a little more time to shine. For the most part, the constant camera changes actually flow well together and maintain a sense of space. Legend of the Guild shows off aspects of what’s normally a gameplay element, like sending flares, turf wars and mounting but only explain the first.
The pacing appears to be near breakneck to fit into the fifty-three minutes. While my ADHD often complains about how slow movies are this… could’ve taken a breather or two. Serious moments and conversations have very little thinking space which makes everyone appear especially shallow. All of this only led to a rather anticlimactic final fight, that tried to have some gravity to it but didn’t give us the time to experience that.
Given the time and setting of the movie it seems odd that it wasn’t created prior to the release of Monster Hunter World as a promotion. Considering Aiden’s disposition and the overall tone it could’ve also served as a small series if they’d gone for a more Monster Hunter Riders’ like art-style.
The appeal of Legend of the Guild isn’t really for fans because it’s only partly a visual treat and the setting and overall lore is used for basic plot movement and not really showcased or explored. Though they certainly go out of their way to promote some anti fashion hunter messages. Even being able to see my favourite monster (Nerscylla) in action still didn’t make it worth watching. At least I didn’t have to pay for this one. Save yourself three minutes and spend fifty on your time limit in a hunt.
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