Monster Hunter 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray review

Monster Hunter, Sony Pictures, Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-Region BD, £25 (US import)

Movie: Husband and wife duo Paul W. S. Anderson and Milla Jovovich team up for another video game adaptation (having previously struck gold with Resident Evil), and the result is the silly but strangely entertaining Monster Hunter. The simple plot involves a special forces squad led by Captain Artemis (Jovovich) teleporting into another dimension where nasty beasties are running amok. Artemis must win the trust of various allies, including Tony Jaa’s Hunter and Ron Perlman’s Admiral, as she valiantly attempts to defeat the monsters and get back home.

Anderson is a director who unashamedly pays homage to his cinematic influences, so cue a sequence with demonic spiders that’s right out of Pitch Black, or dragon-like creatures reminiscent of Reign of Fire. Yet there’s also a degree of knowing self-deprecation that ensures the film never takes things too seriously. If you’re looking for character arcs and story development, this isn’t the movie for you, but if you enjoy non-stop monster mayhem this mindless escapist fun is right up your multiverse.
Movie rating: 3.5/5

Picture: Sony's disc is apparently based on a 2K DI, but a pristine transfer, healthy bit-rate and some top-notch effects work delivers a brilliantly crisp look. Sharpness and detail on display is often exceptional, whether it’s the sandy locations (the Namibian desert stands in for the 'New World'), sweaty close-ups or military uniforms and hardware.

The 2.39:1 aspect ensures the spectacular and unfamiliar landscapes feel otherworldly.

The HDR10 presentation is particularly potent, allowing the scorched desert to appear bright and hostile, while never losing detail in reflective surfaces. The same is true at the other end of the contrast spectrum, where the dark shadows of the spider caves hide untold horrors without losing detail or definition. The wider gamut finds more nuanced colours in both clothing and monster designs. Lightning bolts and dragon fire during the film’s climax really pop.
Picture rating: 4.5/5

Audio: Monster Hunter has an awesome Dolby Atmos mix that goes above and beyond from the opening scene. The thunderous bass often dips well below 20Hz, and whether it’s enormous buffalo-like monsters pounding across the desert or storms tearing a hole through dimensions, you’ll feel the low-frequency energy slam into you.

The surrounds are also artfully employed, steering effects around and through the soundfield, and the height channels create an immersive acoustic hemisphere that puts you inside a tumbling Humvee or ducking for cover as creatures fly overhead.

It's a soundtrack that doesn’t so much immerse you, as pummel you into submission.
Audio rating: 5/5

Extras: Monster Hunter has yet to be released in the UK, but this US 4K disc can be easily picked up.

Sadly, the special features are something of a disappointment, limited to a trio of short featurettes that cover Anderson's love of the source material, the characters, cast, creatures and weaponry. There’s also a pair of deleted scenes, and a trailer, but that’s your lot.
Extras rating: 2.5/5


We say: Blistering HDR visuals and a titanic Atmos soundtrack make this bonkers-but-fun creature feature worth hunting down.

Monster Hunter, Sony Pictures, Ultra HD Blu-ray & All-Region BD, £25 (US import)