(embed) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3od-kQMTZ9M (/ embed)
One of the hottest captures in recent history is that, as you know, the Monster Hunter movie is a big laugh, it may even be the best video game movie ever made. Not much of this is due to its fidelity to most aspects of Capcom's long series, but the slightly Hollywood exception is that they put a lot of Marines in it.
Director Paul W.S. Anderson recently spoke with IGN about elements of the film, noting that the concept of introducing “modern” humans into the Monster Hunter environment was inspired by the feeling I had for the first time playing one of the games: examining these exquisite virtual landscapes as foraster.
"It influenced me the first time I played the game or someone played it, you know, you're a modern person who goes into this world and discovers it for the first time. And you do it with a character I created (….) so you are essentially a stranger going into this world and I wanted to recreate that sense of wonder that I had the first time I entered this world. You can only have that sense of wonder if I see It with fresh eyes. "
Which is, at least, a reasoning that can be followed. Later in the chat, Anderson moves on to the idea that these characters are soldiers, but that’s where he raises one or two eyebrows.
"The idea of a kind of military was suggested by a crossover that Monster Hunter did with Metal Gear Solid, where you have to be Snake Solid (sic) and shoot these creatures with a machine gun. I thought this is organic for games, because it's already been done, and it's a way to get interested.
The game Anderson is referring to is Metal Gear Solid: Peace Walker, a great PSP game in which you played as Big Boss / Naked Snake. Among the many final challenges in the game were some Monster Hunter missions (which were huge on PSP at the time) in which you would go to an island like Snake with a bunch of rocket launchers and shoot a Rathalos or a Tigrex. These were a small plus, but a minor part of Peace Walker, so it’s fun to see that unexpected influence they’ve had: Mr. Kojima really gets everywhere.
Whether or not Anderson approaches a convenient match or not, Monster Hunter’s military angle ends up working better than one might expect. This is mainly because the film ends up with most of them through a monster, but it also plays in the rather spectacular final sequences. Let me put it this way: I never thought military hardware was an obvious fit for Monster Hunter, but then I saw a Rathalos fighting a tank and I loved it.