Ahh, the land of the rising sun. Well, close enough. Recently Hollywood has taken note of the mass, mass, MASS market in China, a country with just under two billion denizens and a powerhouse economy. Although culturally they are rather far removed from western conventions they are adopting and assimilating extremely fast and that means lots of money for those who want to tap that barrel.
Of course they have their own version of Hollywood and have for a long time. Unfortunately this has usually meant that most of their movies MUST have kung fu in it. And if, like me, you enjoy that then it’s a great place to live – I did for nearly four years. But with their new movie Monster Hunt (directed by Shrek 3′s Raman Hui) they have mixed things up a little. A dash of kung fu with a side of
Monster Inc. monsters and suddenly we have a monster hit.
Raking in some $212 million in just over two weeks, Monster Hunt has become the highest grossing Chinese-film in history, surpassing the last Chinese domestic record holder Lost In Thailand and looking to keep on making even more money in the immediate future. Want to know what all the fuss is about? Well prepare to have your mind kung fu kicked out your butt with this trailer below:
I actually have a headache after watching that. It looks NUTS. Like proper Brazilian nuts, none of that nonsense walnuts, but then again that is Chinese humour for you. Many critics have praised the movie for some of its original concepts but have noted that the disjointed story may get in the way of western audiences fully appreciating it, especially in light of the resent blockbuster Inside Out, a movie that takes a VERY adult tone in comparison.
In its review Screen Daily said the film has “a menagerie of eccentric and intriguing characters to rival the best fantasy adventures” but also that its “uneven tone and wayward plotting” may hamper its success in the west. The Hollywood Reporter agreed adding “given Monster Hunt‘s novel setting and sprinkling of kung fu antics” western success is “not completely” impossible.
While Monster Hunt may now hold the top spot for local productions, Furious 7 is still the highest earner overall in the country, raking in $400 million in the Chinese market alone – so you can see why the west is keen to keep the momentum up. Sadly this has meant that some directors are willing to change their movies in order to appease the very restrictive censors in China. Most recently this has come to light in Kervyn’s favourite movie Pixels (you can read why he enjoyed it so much here) where images of the Great Wall of China getting wrecked were removed so as to not upset sensitive souls.
I’m not sure if Monster Hunt will land on our shores this year but we’ll let you know when we do!
Last Updated: July 28, 2015
July 29, 2015 at 12:02
“uneven tone and wayward plotting”
That pretty much describes every Chinese movie when watched by Westerners! It’s a bit like watching Bollywood stuff…