Friday, January 18, 2019
Movie Reviews

Posted at: May 11, 2018, 6:28 PM; last updated: May 11, 2018, 6:28 PM (IST)MOVIE REVIEW: MONSTER HUNT 2

Colourful light-hearted holiday fare


Film: Monster Hunt 2

  • Cast: Tony Leung, Baihe Bai, Boran Jing, Chiu Wai, Chris Lee, Yo Yang, Da Peng, Sandra Ng, Eric Tsang, Huang Lei, Liu Yan, MoMo Wu, X-NINE, Jiang Chao, Lou Yixiao, Zhang Li
  • Director: Raman Hui |Writer: Peter Cilella, Alan Yuen
Colourful light-hearted holiday fare
A still from Monster Hunt 2

Johnson Thomas

A cuter, more accomplished effort than its predecessor, this Chinese live-action animation adventure has Wuba getting away from his adoptive parents, who in turn set out to search for him. 

This affable blockbuster fantasy has already broken records at the Chinese box office but expecting it to do as well in India would be a far cry for sure. And that’s not because it’s not in the same class as Hollywood animation adventures. Directed by Raman Hui (co-director of Shrek The Third), this film is every bit an equal to Hollywood’s best in terms of craft and class. It’s the cultural motifs that take some getting used to here, though. 

The narrative plays out charmingly but it’s not a lasting impression. And we are warned pretty early about that. “Don’t think too much!” are the very first words we hear and you’ve got to pay heed if you want to get the best out of your ride.  It’s just so good-natured and yet nonsensical that it could be denoted as harmless fun. 

Wuba, the central character bounces and burbles, cooing and gurgling with joyous abandon. Wuba is not just any monster, but a princeling who may hold the key to uniting the long-divided monster and human realms. But the story doesn’t advance that far.

The opening sequence sets the tone of a forgettable fantasy with a Bollywood style musical dance with the brightly clad dancers wriggling out of their “human outfits” to reveal the tubby “monsters” they are underneath. And they definitely look adorable. It’s pretty much obvious from that opener that Hui and his additional set of writers Jack Ng, Sunny Chan and Su Liang are not interested in making this sequel more fruitful in terms of content.

The monster realm is a brilliant product of subliminal imagination and the costuming is a sheer wonderland of designs. This sequel is intended as a family reunion adventure replete with toilet humour, goofy antics, numerous innocuous subplots, and hare-brained wire stunts. It’s all good-natured fun though and fits in well with the fuzzy, inoffensive blockbusters coming out of the major Hollywood studios of late. 


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