Berlin Film Review: ‘Monster Hunt 2’

Variety | 2/16/2018 | Jessica Kiang
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“Don’t think too much!” are the very first words in Raman ****’s new Chinese-language, live-action/CG hybrid family adventure. And you’ve scarcely had time to wonder if that might be a cynical advance apologia for a potentially shoddy sequel to a wildly popular original, before you find yourself obeying. “Monster Hunt 2” is so perfectly good-natured and so utterly nonsensical that it makes not-thinking-about-it basically an act of self-preservation, for which, bless its bouncing, gurgling, flolloping heart. Before the brief Bollywood musical-style opening has even concluded, with the brightly clad dancers joyously wriggling out of their “human outfits” to reveal the tubby, blubbery, sunny-dispositioned “monsters” they are underneath, the only part of the viewer’s brain that would light up a CT scan is the Awww! cortex. These creatures are adorable.

Most adorable of all is the film’s star, Wuba. A pudgy little cross between Baby Groot, a Porg, and a stress ball topped with a tuft of watercress hair, he is an actual infant to boot, so double aww! Plus, he speaks in a series of delighted squeaks and giggles that make the average Gerber Baby sound like a 40-a-day smoker who spends all day at the dog track. Wuba, of course, is not just any monster, but a princeling, and one who, being born of human parents, may actually hold the key to uniting the long-divided Monster and Human realms. Not that that narrative gets advanced a single inch in “Monster Hunt 2”: When the film that launched the franchise broke all box office records in China, the second largest film market in the world, you know you’re going to be around a while. **** and new writers Jack Ng, Sunny Chan and Su Liang are content to give the series mythology a rest in favor of what is, if you...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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