Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Movie Review

Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Movie Review | by

Recommended Audience: Fans of Wuba, Bai Baihe 白百何, Jing Boran 井柏然, Sandra Ng 吴君如, Tang Wei 汤唯, Eric Tsang 曾志伟, Jiang Wu 姜武, Wallace Chung 钟汉良, Yao Chen 姚晨 and animation/fantasy movie fans

Monster Hunt Poster

Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Movie Synopsis

Monster Hunt Movie StillsIn a fantasy world far, far away, monsters ruled the land. Then came human’s all-out war in an attempt to seize the land. In its final days, they outwitted the monsters and succeeded in driving them into the dark mountains. Ever since, monsters were forbidden to step into the land again. If they were found, they would be captured and exterminated. For all these years, the two races have lived in their separate worlds, until the birth of a new monster king who would reshape the balance of power and bring in the new world order.

Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Viewer Rating: 4/5 ****


Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Movie Review:

I read quite a few sarcastic comments online after watching the trailer, and I was ashamed to say that I had similar thoughts. I thought this film would be one of those brainless slapstick that make me wonder why did I waste my time and money watching the film in the cinemas. I was quite wrong. WubaThis one picture ain’t gonna represent all the monsters in the film. But you can’t deny that the monsters aren’t exactly the dark and scary ones you normally see. Done by the creator of Shrek, the cute Monster baby kind Wuba will most likely remind audience of the cute alien from CJ7 (2008). Cuteness overload aside, the film is pretty hilarious.

Monster Hunt Jing Bo RanWhile I’m not exactly someone who is easily amused by lines and plots, Jing Boran, the orphan from Andy Lau’s Lost and Love now found a new village to stay in (he’s an orphan here too). His chemistry with Xiaolan (Bai Baihe), a low-ranking monster hunter was pretty cute, albeit cheesy. All roles were reversed in this film. Man get pregnant here, woman is the martial arts expert here. I was tickled to tears by the interesting interaction between the two and of course, with other veteran actors. Monster Hunt movieI guess what made the film so different ( it being the biggest Chinese hit ever) was how the film made the bad guys not that bad, and the good guys not so good. It is definitely not a film about morales nor with big learning lessons, something pretty surprising for a Chinese film, which is nice for a change, but it is also the reason for the somewhat weak plot. I still like this unconventional story for it’s simple monster-language singalong, girly-cooing at the adorable Wuba and also the hint of parental love, which is a tear-jerker.

Do You Know?

Kai Ko Monster HuntKai Ko was originally cast as the male lead, the filming was completed and scheduled to be out during the Chinese New Year period in 2015. However, due to the drug incident in Beijing, Kai Ko was banned in the media in China. After estimating the cost to digitally alter Kai Ko’s face, the producers Doris Tse and Kong informed Hui of the decision to reshoot the film with a new actor in place as the cost was not only higher than the reshoot, the Chinese authorities were also unwilling to show the film with a drug-using headliner anytime soon. 70% of the work had to be refilmed and 25% of the special-effects work had to be redone, they had to call back the cast and crew, find a new leading man and rebuild sets. Tang Wei Monster HuntThe roles of the lady boss and the chef was changed to Tang Wei and Yao Chen in the reshoot to boost the movie’s popularity. Zhang Yuexuan CindyTwo kids cameo (Cindy Tian and Zhang Yuexuan) who participated in the first season of China’s “Daddy, Where Are We Going?” (爸爸去哪儿) reality show were also included too. Monster Hunt Eric TsangSandra Ng, Eric Tsang, female lead Bai Baihe and many other characters did not receive additional pay for the reshoot. Jing Boran Monster HuntAs there weren’t enough time to redo the effects, the team had to fix the old and new scenes together. As the main action animation of the monster Wuba had already been completed in the original shoot, during the reshoot, Jing Boran not only has to do pretend acting with the monster, he had to accommodate with the pre-completed effect and copy Kai Ko’s every single action so that the effects can be added easily. Thus, this restricted Jing Boran’s movement and way of acting. Director Monster HuntDespite the hiccups, Monster Hunt is the highest grossing Chinese film of all time in China, as of July, 2015. Kong said a sequel is already in the planning process. He had hope to make this a trilogy and start filming it at the end of the year.

Behind The Scenes and Interviews

Check out the making of the film (including the one with the original male lead Kai Ko in it)

Check out Monster Hunt (捉妖记)Weibo Page.
Monster Hunt (捉妖记) is out in cinemas on 23 July 2015.

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*Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for the movie review.

18 thoughts on “Monster Hunt (捉妖记) Movie Review”

  1. Pingback: Warcraft: The Beginning Movie Review -

  2. that monster looks very cute! I can imagine a cute little plush made in it’s image. But then, this does not read like that kinda movie that will be selling plush?

  3. Glad to know you give a very high rating for this. I want to watch this too. First impression is the monsters are so cute!

  4. This looks like such a cute movie!! The 3D monster looks quite well-done! Would definitely watch this 😀

  5. The monsters in the show looks cute but I somehow can’t bring myself to watch this… animated monsters and Chinese film… I just can’t reconcile the 2 genres together, haha!

  6. Based on the poster and photos alone, I do not think I would like this film with the supposed to be cute characters and even a man getting pregnant and giving birth. But I was surprised with your very high rating. Glad to know you enjoyed it. – Fred

  7. I’d say this seems to be a cute movie! The monsters don’t look like monster to me. I’m excited to see the graphics and the effects. I hope this show Monster Hunt here in my country.

  8. Louise ღ (@louisechelle)

    Now, this is interesting. This would be my first time to hear a Chinese movie that doesn’t involve dynasty stories; rather, a monster fantasy? I’m so curious why it deserved 4/5 rating from you.

  9. The pregnant guy and cute monster are enough for me to want to watch this film so bad! I hope they show it in Manila! I’m a sucker for this kinds of films!

  10. So is it similar to “How to train your Dragon?” or is it completely different? The monsters are very cute!

  11. I grew up watching Bruce Lee, Cynthia Luster and Jackie Chan movies. This here is another movie to watch for. The effects are really ‘kyut’ as in cute! 🙂

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