“Monster Hunt” Opens In America To Monstrously Good Reviews

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January 22, 2016 — The wait is over. Monster Hunt, the biggest box office hit in China’s history, opens today, and the reviews are pouring in.

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: 
“…it’s certainly ambitious, often entertaining and, compared to the feeble competition from new American films of the moment, a singing, dancing, stomping and chomping “Citizen Kane.”

 Soren Andersen, Seattle Times
“Near the beginning of “Monster Hunt,” what looks like a small pineapple topped with helicopter rotors goes flittering across the screen. It’s the first indication that this will not be your usual monster movie. From China it comes, bringing with it a different sensibility — and look — than what one generally finds in Western-produced venturings into the realm of ghoulies and ghosties and unnatural beasties that thump and crash through our neighborhood megaplexes.

Many of the CGI monsters here have a rounded, roly-poly look, like dumplings with Chia-pet hair, suction-cup ears and multiple rubbery tentaclelike arms. They’re not exactly harmless — sharp teeth and claws are also part of the ensemble — but they are kind of funny and fun. The fun factor is acknowledged within the picture itself when a human remarks that the central creature in this feature bears a distinct resemblance to a white radish. A radish with, not incidentally, a royal title.

Director Raman Hui mixes martial-arts fights and slapstick comedy (lots of mugging by Jing [actor Boran Jing] ) into a whimsical, fast-paced monster mash. …it’s certainly a lively ride.”

Joseph B. Mauceri, Fears Magazine:

“MONSTER HUNT blends all the fun and frolic of a Jackie Chan martial arts film with monsters, music, and tons of fun. The plot incorporates lots of elements from film like Men in Black, How to Train Your Dragon, Shrek, Frozen, The Little Mermaid, and, as previously mentioned, Jackie Chan films, especially the more child friendly films. I like the martial arts choreography and how, in contrast, it make the musical numbers choreography so charming.

I enjoyed the monster designs. They’re a hybrid of Shrek meets the monsters from How to Train Your Dragon. The main monster, baby Wuba, is this interesting design that blends a combination of cabbage patch kid and an Asian radish, given this infectious baby laugh, that makes for a delightfully charming cinematic character.

There is lots of action and a fight sequences at the end where the action is an excellent blend of martial arts and animation. Its as good as anything Peter Jackson has brought to the screen over the years and so seamless you forget you are watching animation at times as you are caught up in the drama.

The locations have these storybook Grimm Fairy Tales feel, but clearly more rustic and older locations. The costumes are lavish, and it all comes together in a way that I found reminiscent of some of the classic childhood tales read in grammar school.

MONSTER HUNT is a great family film with quality themes and tons of silliness. I think it’s the perfect gateway film for younger members of the family. You might want to show them the subtitled film and then the dubbed version. I had the chance to take a peek at both….Either way, MONSTER HUNT is a real treat. “

Simon Abrams, RogerEbert.com:

” You should see this film. See it with your grade-school-aged kids, their equally young friends, and whatever kids you can find loitering around a theater near you that happens to be showing “Monster Hunt.” This film is pleasantly cheesy, and probably more interesting than anything that’s currently being marketed to your not-so-picky kids. Try it, they’ll like it.”

Peter Keough, Boston Globe:  

“Monster Hunt’ is a wacky, imaginative monster mash.”

Nicholas Rapold, The New York Times:

“Raman Hui, the Hong Kong-born co-director of “Shrek the Third,” makes a blunt, chaotic attempt at folksy family fun, conjuring tubby creatures that can be cute as the dickens.”

Take a look at the Theater showings for Monster Hunt in your area here.

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