Monster Hunt 2 is a too-cute, pointless fantasy, says Rashid Irani
A sequel to one of China’s top-grossing movies of all time, Monster Hunt 2 is sillier and even more cloying than the 2015 original.
Director Raman Hui, who also tackled the first installment, once again blends live-action and CGI animation to carry forward the story of the cuddly baby monster inadvertently separated from his human guardians.
Viewers familiar with the first film may recall that it was the surrogate father who gave birth to the new-born creature named Wuba. There are no such gimmicky twists this time around.
The carelessly plotted follow-up is, however, marred by chaotic visuals, cornball dialogue and a cascade of slapstick antics.
Fatigue sets in long before the film reaches its protracted, action-heavy climax. Despite the array of playful monsters on display, there is little sense of wonderment. The film does strive to impart values of family, friendship and peaceful co-existence to its target kiddie audience, but for its adult viewers that’s really neither here nor there.
Monster Hunt 2 has been released here dubbed in English, making it is difficult to assess the quality of the performances.
The singular exception is the ever-charismatic Tony Leung. Cast as an inveterate gambler, the star of several films by the Hong Kong maestro Wong Kar-Wai brings a measure of gravitas to an otherwise pointless fantasy.