Director: Raman Hui
Cast: Jing Boran, Bai Baihe
In recent years China has emerged as a global production-distribution hub. Indeed, even this week’s sole American release, Point Break, has been co-financed by a mainland Chinese entertainment conglomerate.
Tackily blending live-action and animation, the wholly Chinese Monster Hunt is a story-light, action-heavy romp through an ancient fantasy realm. The tepid yarn centres on an internecine conflict between shape-shifting monsters and a human couple (Boran-Baihe) striving to protect the offspring of the monster queen. The royal baby and his surrogate parents are pursued by rival bounty hunters and a master chef who specializes in serving monster delicacies at his speciality restaurant.
The martial arts combats are surprisingly tame and the performances uniformly robotic. Hong-Kong-born animator Raman Hui had previously co-directed Shrek The Third, but here his talents seem to be in hibernation.
Watch the trailer
In an obvious attempt to boost its prospects at the Indian box office, the film has been atrociously dubbed in English by a local voice cast. Incidentally, Monster Hunt is currently China’s highest grossing film of all time. Go figure.