Director Paul W.S. Anderson and star Milla Jovovich’s latest video game adaptation Monster Hunter has found itself at the centre of controversy in China, with the film being pulled from local theaters by China regulators after backlash to a joke considered racist by audiences.
Here’s the offending scene, with the joke in question being linked by audiences to the offensive “Chinese, Japanese, dirty knees” playground rhyme and leading to accusations that the film has insulted the country and its people.
Great writing in the Monster Hunter movie… pic.twitter.com/jTRnKOClCi
— Daniel Ahmad (@ZhugeEX) December 4, 2020
Chinese censors are reportedly cutting the joke and plan to re-release the movie without the scene, but it appears the damage may already have been done as both the movie and the Capcom video game titles have been receiving thousands of angry, negative reviews online – so much so that Capcom has since issued a statement to confirm that the video game publisher was not involved with the film’s production but will raise the concerns with the relevant parties.
The situation will certainly be a blow for Sony, Constantin Film and Tencent Pictures, who would have been hoping that the movie could have amassed a healthy gross in China given the popularity of the IP and the fact that cinemas in the country continue to perform strongly following lockdown measures earlier in the year.
“Behind our world, there is another: a world of dangerous and powerful monsters that rule their domain with deadly ferocity. When an unexpected sandstorm transports Lt. Artemis (Milla Jovovich) and her unit (TI Harris, Meagan Good, Diego Boneta) to a new world, the soldiers are shocked to discover that this hostile and unknown environment is home to enormous and terrifying monsters immune to their firepower. In their desperate battle for survival, the unit encounters the mysterious Hunter (Tony Jaa), whose unique skills allow him to stay one step ahead of the powerful creatures. As Artemis and Hunter slowly build trust, she discovers that he is part of a team led by the Admiral (Ron Perlman). Facing a danger so great it could threaten to destroy their world, the brave warriors combine their unique abilities to band together for the ultimate showdown.”
Monster Hunter sees Paul W.S. Anderson directing a cast that includes Milla Jovovich (Resident Evil), Meagan Good(Think Like a Man), Tip ‘T.I.’ Harris (Ant-Man and the Wasp), Tony Jaa (Ong-Bak), Ron Perlman (Sons of Anarchy) and Diego Boneta (Scream Queens).